Hell of the Living Dead (1980)
Director: Bruno Mattei
Main Stars: Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo, Selan Karay
Storyline: A female reporter and her crew work together with some commando’s on battle the undead in the jungle.
Review (Spoils): A chemical leak (something new for zombie films lol) and it starts to turn the locals within the jungle tribes to become zombies. A commando group was created to go and investigate wheat is happening to the people of the area. A young cute reporter by the name of Lia (Margit Evelyn Newton) wants to break the story herself so she joins the commando team. Well she gets more than she bargained for as she and her army try to survive as they find out the whole land is overrun with undead.
Also known as Zombie Creeping Flesh this film is a gem when it comes to gore and zombie flicks. Sure its not as smart as the Romero or Lucio films but you have to give this film some credit for gore. We have the cute Margit Evelyn Newton playing the main character, funny moments and lots and lots of red and gore. We have cannibal zombies that roam the area and attack everything. The film is not unique or even written well but it’s a goddamn zombie movie what do you want. Its got some bad dub but man its gory as hell.
Rating: Many horror fans get mad over this film as a rip off from Dawn of the Dead but you know what its horror, its is suppose to silly and fun. Its an Italian zombie film what more do you want? We have a hot chick and lots of gore, not the best but sign me up as a classic underground gem.
Ginger Snaps 3 (2004)
Director: Grant Harvey
Main Stars: Katherine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Stephen Massicotte, Hugh Dillon
Storyline: We go back to the 19th century and learn the history of the sisters and their curse.
Review (Spoils): We travel back in time before the first film into the 19th century. Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) come across a trade post which becomes under attack from a clan of werewolves. While they are trapped there and trying to survive an Indian hunter decides to help the girls survive as one of them becomes bitten by a werewolf and the curse begins for them.
I’m not positive what they were hoping to get out of this film besides some backstory which kind of ruins the first 2 movies. We learn about their original parents and why their bond is so strong as sisters but this film is lacking the dark humor which was so great about the first film. Sure we have the talents of Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins again but it is just not the same and the Ginger character just does not fit with this type of background. The special effects of the werewolves are actually pretty cool and near the end of the film you can really get a good look at them. Lots of red blood and fur flying in this film.
Rating: I personally loved the first film as it was a breath of fresh air for the werewolf films but now that we are trying to twist a backstory of the series this kind of left me bored. We have two very talented actresses but the storyline just was not the same to be part of the series. They would of been better off doing another sequel in the same lines of the first two films.
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Director: Ray Kellogg
Main Stars: James Best, Ingrid Goude, Ken Curtis
Storyline: A ship captain gets trapped on an island with some individuals during a storm, who just happen to be experimenting on shrews.
Review (Spoils): Been a while since I reviewed something so I was able to get an hour of free time to sit down for a quick monster movie. Another drive-in corny film about a cocky sail captain who was delivering a stock of items to a group on an island. A hurricane comes along so he is trapped and they just happen to be experimenting on shrews and one of the scientists is a drunk and some how they got released. Oh and there just happens to be a hot blonde there (daughter of course) which the drunkard and the captain battle over.
This nice little B/W film gives us Ingrid Goude screaming and acting horrible, a few fist fights, a bunch of dogs dressed up as shrews, some shrew face puppets that have nasty eyes and teeth (actually the entertaining part of the film) and some really bad acting. The whole film is 90% in one room …. Lack of funds I guess or all spent on the dogs.
Rating: For its time I bet this film was a gem when it came to monster films as the special effects are entertaining and about the only thing that kept me from drinking my sorrows through this one. The characters to be honest I could not give a shrew’s ass about and really the whole Ingrid Goude character was just outrages and dumb (nobody would act the way she was). But looking back this could be a good drinking game as you can drink every time someone enters into a door (remember the whole damn thing is pretty much one room) or drink with them as they spent a whole lot of time at that one standing bar.
From Hell It Came (1957)
Director: Dan Milner
Main Stars: Tod Andrews, Tina Carver, Linda Watkins
Storyline: A prince is executed wrongly and comes back as a walking tree monster.
Review (Spoils): A tribal chief is charged with committing a sin by being friends with some scientists on the island. Some members of the tribe work together and kill him and when he is buried the radioactive material from the burial ground brings him back as a walking rubber tree. So the film moves slowly with this rubber tree stump with a mad face terrorising and killing people that plotted for his death. While all the time the scientist tries to find a way to defeat the tree monster as it cannot be harmed with bullets.
Welcome back to the 50s when drive in movie monsters were the thing. This movie has a bad plot; fuck I have no idea why they scientists were even on the island or the whole truth why it came back as a tree. We have a bunch of leading women that do some of the dumbest things and overreact. The best part of the whole film is the walking rubber tree stump as that will be semi memorable as it is very cheesy. No scares, no great one liners just a slow walking stump.
Rating: Super low budget on this one….. you have been warned. I personally love a nice silly film but this one was a bit too boring for me. Like I stated above the best thing was the monster itself as it was laughable and the walk was the best (more of waddle). But I do have to say I was due for a killer tree movie but I rather stick with The Guardian.
As Above, So Below (2014)
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Main Stars: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, Marion Lambert
Storyline: A young woman gets a gang of explorers to venture into some catacombs underneath Paris to uncover the secret of the City of the Dead.
Review (Spoils): The young and beautiful Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is an adventurous explorer who wants to live up to her father’s name and make sure his life and death was worth it. She starts a documentary on her choices and her travels as she tries to break into where the City of the Dead is located. She travels to the eastern lands and cracks into a hidden catacomb and takes with her video and pictures of the lost words. She uses her charm and gets help from fellow explorer George (Ben Feldman) to get it translated and they end up in Paris. In Paris they track down a bigger group of young explorers and they travel underground to find the lost City of the Dead.
We have the typical young and wild party people, the very talented and gorgeous Perdita Weeks, ghosts, jumpy camera, a stone bull, flashes of supposedly scary people, some flying blows, a nasty gored out fall, a crazy head bash (one of the best in the film), a healing stone, the cute Marion Lambert, some closer phobic moments and the same damn film as Grave Encounters.
Rating: I was expecting a lot more from this film. I read a number of reviews and they seemed to be great but once I started watching the film it screamed Grave Encounters and/or a horrible version of [REC]. I am personally so tired of the video camera view when it comes to horror films. It has been overdone like 5 years ago! As soon as I see this now in a film I scream to myself no budget but wanted to make the film anyways. When you have such a beautiful talented actress like Perdita Weeks do not waste it with this replicated horror stuff. Such a waste.
Filed under Haunting, Occult
What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971)
Director: Curtis Harrington
Main Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Shelley Winters, Dennis Weaver
Storyline: Two women open up a dance school to get away that fact that their sons are convicted to murder.
Review (Spoils): Helen (Shelley Winters) and Adele (Debbie Reynolds) both have sons that committed a very gruesome murder and to get away from it all they go to California. They work together to open up a dance school for children. Adele being the dancer and the teacher and Helen being the piano player they work together to make a go of it. Through time Helen starts to get disturbing phone calls from someone that is blaming the mothers for what the sons did. Adele is obsessed on being rich and being famous and its not long before she is bashing her eyes towards one of the children’s fathers (Dennis Weaver). While during all this Helen is starting to crack.
The film is very dark and gloomy and written a bit cheesy. The acting done well but the writing leaves the character seem a bit off and I believe this is on purpose. Shelley Winters plays the mom next door as Debbie Reynolds plays the more ditsy want fame and love character. Dennis Weaver just looks like Burt Reynolds. The Film does have some holes in it and there is some characters thrown into the mix just to say it has more build. I was semi lost in the storyline to be honest as the whole film seems to be a secret.
We have bloody rabbits, strange phone calls, terrible music, stabbings and some nice brownish blood. The ending of the film makes the film worth the watch….trust me.
Rating: Along the veins of What Happened to Baby Jane? this film is not as good but it is darker. We have a couple leading female actresses that are thrown into a mix match storyline. Like stated above if it was not the ending the film was of fallen flat for me.
Die! Die! My Darling (1965)
Director: Silvio Narizzano
Main Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan, Yootha Joyce, Donald Sutherland
Storyline: A young woman goes to visit the mother of a past fiancé and becomes overwhelmed with her need.
Review (Spoils): Patricia Carroll (Stefanie Powers) arrives in London with her new fiancé but before she can move on she promised that she would finally meet her old fiancés Steven’s mother (Tallulah Bankhead) (he died and Patricia has moved on). She travels out of town to an old beaten down house to finally meet the woman. She is old, strong opinionated, strangely religious and obsessed with her son. As Patricia tries to survive the visit she learns that she is not leaving anytime soon and has to keep lying to survive her visit. We quickly learn that mother is not all that she portrays to be.
Die! Die! My Darling is something a little different for a Hammer Film. This film is based mostly in an old house and a broken down mind. We have the very gorgeous Stefanie Powers playing the lead victim and lady who is being held against her will and captured because a mother is insane over the loss of her son. As the truth of Patricia starts to come to light the more nuts the mother is driven. The characters and acting is extremely well done and the even the storylines between the main plot is an interesting twist. Such as the hired staff that work for the mother and what’s in it for them. The religious over tones keeps the film entertaining and there are even some funny scenes but at the same time the mood can be very dark and icky at the same time. Some bright red blood, knives, gun shots, a green dead body, a couple prayers, lots of “poor Steven”, long legs and sexiness. This film has it all.
Rating: This title has been thrown around for long time from music from the Misfits right to the creepy and classic tunes of Alice Cooper and Steven. This movie is a classic! This is the perfect ex-mother in-law has lost her mind film. Tallulah Bankhead is one scary mom and very strong headed and when she finally snaps the fun begins. This is a classic horror film that everyone should checkout very entertaining.