The Unholy Three (1925)
Director: Tod Browning
Main Stars: Lon Chaney, Mae Busch, Matt Moore, Victor McLaglen, Harry Earles
Storyline: Three sideshow performers start a crime spree taking place from a bird shop.
Review (Spoils): Three sideshow performers a ventriloquist named Echo (Lon Chaney), a small man named Tweedledee (Harry Earle) and a strong man named Hercules (Victor McLaglen) start a plan to make some money. Echo will pose as an old lady (who can use his voice to make birds talk) as Tweedledee poses as a baby and they rob people as they complain about the birds stop talking at home. Ties this in with a love triangle and this is the plot of the story.
Checking out this film I was not sure what exactly I was getting into but this film is a silent gem. Lon Chaney played all his parts perfectly as the leader of the crime gang and the old lady. The facial expressions of Lon Chaney is outstanding and he really is the man of make-up. The lead actress Mae Busch is also great as she plays the strong woman of the gang but she tied between the love triangle of once being used by Echo and then following love with one of the victims.
Rating: This film does not scream blood or guts as it is a silent film from the 20s but what we do have here is a classic in the horror film genre. Tod Browning did something like this later on called Freaks it was more over the top this is more story based then shock based. Another Lon Chaney classic!
House/ Hausu (1977)
Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Main Stars: Kimiko Ikegani, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba, Mieko Sato, Eriko Tanaka
Storyline: A group of schoolgirls spend the summer at one or their aunts and learn that the place is haunted.
Review (Spoils): The film starts with a group of schoolgirls that have strange names and they discuss what they are each doing for the summer. When all their plans fall though they lean to a young girl named Gorgeous to travel to her forgotten Aunt’s home for the summer vacation. Through the film we learn that each girl’s name is named after a personality trait of their own (learning this through the dialogue of character development). When the girls arrive to the aunt’s house they settle right in but what they don’t know is the aunt is actually dead and the place is haunted.
Ever take acid and watch a film? Me either unless it was a long time ago…well that is what this film feels like. I personal believe if you took drugs and watched this film it would make total sense or you would die from the special effects and weirdness of it. There is so much going on in this film (outside of story) that it is one big acid trip. We have cut out edits with the camera like it’s a sitcom, Asian schoolgirls, bad dialogue, blood, floating body parts, a piano that eats people, a light fixture that eats, weird background sceneries that would make Stg. Pepper make sense, a cat that spews blood and some sexual symbolism to top it.
Rating: This film is bad so bad that it was entertaining and I can understand why it’s a cult classic. Part of me wants to watch this film a second time but hammered. We have so much going on in the film and the characters alone are a trip on their own. Warning this film is not for everyone!
The Cremator (1969)
Director: Juraj Herz
Main Stars: Rudolf Hrusinsky, Vlasta Chramostova, Jana Stehnova
Storyline: A crazy cremator thinks cremation relieves suffering and he wants to relieve the world of its pain.
Review (Spoils): Set around World War II a man named Karel Kopfringl (Rudolf Hrusinsky) is reading the Tibetan book of the dead and believes from it that actual cremation relieves people from earthly suffering. We learn that Karel was part of the first World War and fought for the Germans but since then married into a semi-Jewish family. He gets confronted by past members of his old war group and being influenced to join again. Can he change his ways back and if so what does the inner conflict do to ones mind?
This film is actually well done and is a hidden classic in the horror genre. Do not expect movie monsters, ghosts or over the top gore but expect looking into the inner conflict of ones mind that the war can do along with the help of a book that leads to you wanted to kill cats. The film is the development of one’s sick mind.
Rating: People should not be turned off by b/w or subtitles because these are the hidden gems that get missed. This film is actually really good and I do not understand why this is not standing out as a classic when it comes to horror films. Karel is one messed up Mf**ker! Want a classic terror horror film check this one out, it will make you think.
Terror in the Midnight Sun (1959)
Director: Virgil W. Vogel
Main Stars: Barbara Wilson, Sten Gester, Robert Burton
Storyline: Aliens release a furry critter in the wilds of Lapland where it takes a woman captive and threatens a group of scientists.
Review (Spoils): A meteor crashes (wow this happens a lot in the 50s) and a group of reindeer are found dead so an investigation is called. During the search we learn that the meteor is actually a alien ship and a monster comes upon the group and terrorizes them. The monster destroys their plane, kills people and run off with a figure skater woman (funny that this happens) but does not kill her. Everyone tries to figure out how rescue the girl and destroy the monster.
Monster movie time! We have bad acting, grainy scenes, bald aliens that have telepathic powers and the horrible hairy monster. This film screams 50s drive-in movie which is great and I love that once again we have a hairy monster kidnapping the beautiful Barbara Wilson. The monster itself looks like a cross between a boar and big foot. Fun stuff I tell you!
Rating: This film is also known as Invasion of the Animal People but I prefer the main title. This is your typical drive-in monster film please do not expect much from this except a some snow, skiers , a pretty girl and cool looking monster walking along the mountains.
Session 9 (2001)
Director: Brad Anderson
Main Stars: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guillfoyle
Storyline: An asbestos cleaning crew work in an old mental hospital and it seems to be haunted
Review (Spoils): An asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. This was suppose to be a quick job for the company but the staffs personal issues start to impact the work and even gets more slower for the team once one finds an old audio recording of some of the patient interviews. The one that sticks out the most is the session 9 interview with someone by the name of Simon. Things started to turn bizarre from there on in.
This film hits the nerve of what a true haunting film should be about. If you love ghost films and the ones that come back to memory and give you chill this is one of them. The movie is so well done and the acting is awesome. The sounds and the music stand out and add to the creepiness of the film along with the ongoing of Simon. Danvers Mental Hospital is a place that should be remembered when it comes to places of horror films. Do not expect gore and graphic scenes, except creepiness of the higher level.
Rating: A film like this are rare when it comes to horror. You have a movie that does not lean on naked chicks, blood or shock torture instead this gives you acting, story and god damn chills. And yes don’t; drop dead David Caruso is not bad in this film. All hail Simon!
Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)
Director: Brian Yuzna
Main Stars: Kent McCord, James T. Callahan, Sarah Douglas, Melinda Clarke, J. Trevor Edmond
Storyline: After seeing the experiment of bring the dead back to life a young man tries to do the same to his girlfriend who was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Review (Spoils): The government continue their experiments on the dead to come back to life for military uses. The colonel son named Curt (J. Trevor Edmond ) finds this out and he and his girlfriend Julie (Melinda Clarke) get involved in a motorcycle accident on the way home. Julie is pronounced dead so Curt takes her back to the lab and brings her back to life. What Curt learns is she is not fully the same woman that she was before the accident.
This film series had a rough go when the part 2 came out so I was not expecting a lot from this film. If you can get past the cheesie beginning this film is actually not bad. The film has character build and the gore is actually pretty damn good and over the top. This is a gory tale of true love and the Julie character is sexy but yet gory and deadly and she is definitely a memorable horror icon in my books. We have flesh eating, chewing, cool zombies, some drill scenes, the sexy zombie babe Melinda Clarke, some nasty cuts and of course the classic impaling scene.
Rating: This series has risen back to the ranks of the first film. I actually liked this film enough that I would place this into rotation in my horror collection. If you’re a horror fan and have not seen this film it is a must see at least once as it is a classic for the series.
Its Alive (1974)
Director: Larry Cohen
Main Stars: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Andrew Duggan
Storyline: A baby is born and seen as a monster as it kills.
Review (Spoils): A couple are expecting their second child and when the wife goes into labor (which is such as unrealistic scene) the baby seems larger then normal. While the husband is playing poker and smoking in the waiting room with the other husbands there is a bloodbath in the wake of the delivery room. The baby has escaped and left a bloody murder trail of claws and bites. The bay must be found and destroyed.
This film screams 70s which is awesome! We have bright red blood, bad acting, drama, a Go Go girl death and screaming baby monster that we never really see fully which is great. Claws and bite marks to the people’s deaths and some red blood that Dario would be proud of. The conflict of the parents on if they real do want to destroy the beast as it is their child is entertaining and the sound effects and baby effects are worth the film alone.
Rating: I love this film it’s a classic when it comes to 70s horror and I believe it could be cult classic also. Unfortunate the film looses some its charm because of the cheesie sequels but the angry monster baby is a classic beast of horror. The Go Go girl alone is worth on beer on its own.