When a Stranger Calls (1979)
Director: Fred Walton
Main Stars: Carol Kane, Charles During, Rutanya Alda
Storyline: A babysitter gets terrorized by a stalking killer.
Review (Spoils): Jill Johnson (Carol Kane) is babysitting one night and she keeps getting weird phones calls “Have you checked the children?” She calls in the police in a panic and through their tracing of the phone line they narrow it down that the caller is in the house. Jill does escape but the children were murdered upstairs and the killer gets put away.
Seven years later the killer escapes and now tracks down Jill and starts the torment again but this time with her own children. This whole idea is classic when it comes to horror films but unfortunately all the good stuff is all in the first half of the film and then it all falls flat. It’s too bad as the beginning of the film is great and actually chilling.
Rating: You can’t really get more classic babysitting horror then this film as this is where it all began but it is almost becomes unbearable after that. Grab some beers, sit alone, throw some kids in bed upstairs and at least get the beginning in.. as this is a classic.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Director: Neil Marshall
Main Stars: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby
Storyline: In Scotland a military exercise turns out to be a hunting ground for werewolves
Review (Spoils): Campfire stories tell tales of about haunting of beasts in the Scotland area but a British Squad ignore them to find out they might be true. They come across bloody remains of past squads and they start to be hunted down. This leads them to run into a zoologist named Megan (Emma Cleasby). She knows well what is hunting them, its werewolves.
These werewolves are blood thirsty as we have branch impaling, bites, cows flying, heads flying, explosions and some good werewolf times. Bringing out the gore and blood in this one, this is action packed for a werewolf film. There is a couple classic scenes in this film such as the dog fight for his intestines and the of course the flying cow. The effects even for the werewolves themselves are not bad overall.
Rating: This is one of the better werewolf films out there; I personally place this one along with Ginger Snaps for this era. It’s no American Werewolf in London but it will survive the test of time for werewolf films in horror. Grab some pints and cook up some sausages as this is a fun film all around.
Director: John Stockwell
Main Stars: Josh Duhamel, Melissa George, Olivia Wilde,Beau Garrett, Angles Steib
Storyline: A group of backpackers get stranded in the middle of Brazil where they are not overly welcomed.
Review (Spoils): A group of Americans have their bus break down during a tour in Brazil. The young group meet some locals and decide to drink up at a hidden beach with them. After a wild night of party everyone wakes up to find out that they were drugged, naked and everything stolen (including passports). They work together to get help and come across a local named Kiko (Angles Steib) to help them. During this they go into a cave where Kiko smashes his head in some rocks diving. When trying to help him they come across other people’s passports and clothes. What happens from here is hell as they realize they kidnap tourists and sedate them to farm out their organs.
We have a bloody good time with this one with the classic bathtub on ice scene, some nasty gun shots, head shots, some bow and arrow and some wild jungle chasing.
Rating: I personally liked this film more than Hostel but many with disagree with me because it came after. Sure we could have had much more to the film when it came to the jumps and graphic gore but the idea was there.
Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)
Director: Amando de Ossorio
Main Stars: Cesar Burner, Lone Fleming, Maria Elena Arpon
Storyline: In the 13th century there a cult of death knights known as the Templars who found eternal life by drinking human blood.
Review (Spoils): Way back in the 13th century an evil cult of knights known as the Templars were on quest for eternal life by drinking human blood and killing people in the name of sacrifice. Because of the unholy hatred the group was left for dead and the crows peck out their eyes.
This brings us to modern day Portugal when a small group of people come across the old Templar’s monastery which raises them from the dead to continue their unholy rage. Some of scenes of the death knights riding their horses and stalking and cutting bodies down are actually very nice and the final scene is somewhat a classic in eurohorror but the acting can be a bit slow and painful to watch. We have some nasty sword swinging, decapitations, amputations and some good old bloodletting.
Rating: We have blood, boobs and death knights on horseback what more do you need? Don’t expect a zombie fest in this one as the Blind Dead trilogy is not like that. This is a bit of an exploitation film and it is a classic even though the plot is slow. The ending alone is worth checking out and the mood of the film fits well but it could have used more Templars.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Director: Robert Fuest
Main Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffon, Virginia North
Storyline: A man seeks revenge on the nine doctors that he blames for his wife’s death.
Review (Spoils): Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) is a talent man; he is a doctor, scientist, organist and a biblical scholar. But when he and his wife are in an accident that leaves him speaking through a microphone through his voice box and her dead, he blames the doctors that tried to save her for her demises. Being a madman of religion he starts to master plan of revenge upon the medical professionals. Bringing forth the biblical plagues to their deaths such as blood draining, locusts and the classic frog mask, all done by Dr. Phibes and his sexy assistant Vulnavia (Virginia North).
Vincent Price was made for this role and the he is both the victim of heartbreak pain and a madman. The film is bright, colourful and fun to watch. The overlay of the voice so that Vincent Price had to mimickeeps it entertaining and the movie also has some fun parts. There are some creative ideas in this film which makes me wonder how much of an influence this film was to such as Saw or even Seven? The connection between Vincent Price and Virginia North is never fully explained which makes it even creepier.
Rating: Robert Fuest created a horror classic with this gem and Vincent Price is at his very best in this film.If you’re a classic horror fan you need to see this film as it is one of most unique tales yet.Dr.Phibes is one deadly villain and a work of art.
Scream 2 (1997)
Director: Wes Craven
Main Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jada Pinkett Smith, Heather Graham, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Marisol Nichols, Laurie Metcalf
Storyline: 2 years later and Ghostface is back haunting Sidney and her friends.
Review (Spoils): 2 years after the great Ghostface murders people have moved on such as Sidney (Neve Campbell) is now in college, Cotton is out of prison, Gale (Courteney Cox )wrote a book on the event and now is becoming a movie called Stab. As the movie is about to be released Ghostface returns or is it a new murder? The film starts to follow the same lines as the first in the series.
Another “who did it?” murder film under the Scream name. The film is not horrible but it is pretty much the same as the first one, same characters, same actors/ actresses and more dead bodies. We have more blood in this one which is a good thing and the babes grace the screen on this one. The ending has a very interesting twist and the gore is present. The only thing that drove me nuts on this film was the point of making it a film within a film. I hated the whole Stab idea.
Rating: If jam your film full of beautiful Hollywood ladies does that make it a good film? If it was a porno yes but it’s not so the answer is no. This is actually the last decent part of the series so get this one in before the series becomes dead.
The Golem (1920)
Director: Paul Wegener, Carl Boese
Main Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinruck, Ernst Deutsch
Storyline: A jewish rabbi creates a clay golem using sorcery to protect the people from persecution.
Review (Spoils): After hearing a ton about this classic film I figure I would hunt down a copy of The Golem and finally see if this compares to the other German classic The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari. After searching and searching I finally got hold of a copy of the film and sat back to see what the raving has been all about.
This film is very close to the feel of The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari but not as dark. The film is a story of a jewish rabbi who lives in fear and traps his own beliefs into witchcraft to bring faith to the people buy creating a guardian of clay called the golem (Paul Wegener). I can see the influence of this silent film to the later Frankenstein but with more of a religious and political statement hidden in the film. Dealing with the relationship between the Jews and Christians in Prague the monster itself it not hideous but instead viewed as a huge guardian or protector. The scenery of the film like other classic German horror films is amazing such as the ghetto itself and all the shadows and twisted dark looks.
Rating: Don’t expect scares or anything that is going to keep you on the edge of your seat with this one. That’s where I would drop the Golem below The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari but this is still a classic film of art. The shadowy imagery of the evil presence during the ritual, the golem and plot alone is enough to keep you enticed.