The Birds (1963)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Main Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette
Storyline: A wealthy young woman chases a man to a small Northern California town where the birds start to attack people for no known reason.
Review (Spoils): Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is pretty well off and good looking and always gets what she wants. She falls a bit for a man at the pet store and follows him off to a small town where he is with his mother and young sister. It seems like as soon as she shows up in town things start to become strange. Birds start to swoop at people’s heads; some birds even peck people to death.
The birds are swooping and tacking everyone, we have birds doing fly by nips, a cool kids birthday party being crashed by birds, lots of people screaming and running, a nice blown up gas station and some small minor blood as bird peck people. The film has great mute sounds spots when needed to create the mood, which is some of the class of Alfred Hitchcock. Tippi Hedren steals the show in this film as the gently spoken blonde that everyone wants but at the same time why she walking herself into these situations. The birds themselves can be a bit corny but that it half the fun of the film it can be spooky but at the same time fun. The whole plot and reason of the birds is never fully explained, as most of the film is people just trying to escaping the flock of death.
Rating: I am stunned that I have not reviewed this classic film yet. This film is a horror masterpiece but is not out in the top 10 of all time as I find Psycho a much better film then this. However, the birds, the sounds and lack of is what makes this movie such a horror gem. Stay away from the horrible sequel that comes out years later… you have been warned!
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Main Stars: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, Cassandra Scerbo, Julie McCullogh
Storyline: Freak hurricane hits LA with some trapped sharks within the cyclone.
Review (Spoils): What happens when your film careers have hot rock bottom? You sign on with a film like this and it turns into a cult following. We have a strange hurricane that hits LA which for some unknown reason creates cyclones (wouldn’t that be a tornado?) which just happens to start in the sea and it traps a large number of sharks within it and drops them into the city randomly. The best part are the sharks do not die on impact, instead they flip and flop and bit through everything. We have a terrible storyline, horrible acting, bad CGI and some off and on blood.
What I did not know was that sharks that can eat through everything, cars, trucks, through glass and even swallow people completely. (Classic chainsaw scene in the end) This movie has it all from munching parts, fake CGI blood and sharks, lost of sharks and a crazy fake tornado (actually 3-4 of them). This movie is just horrid.
Rating: I personally love bad movies but this one might take the cake for bad. If it was not for Cassandra Scerbo all over the screen this could have been a flip it off. This film is damn bad and the CGI just makes it worse. I can see why this has a cult following and multiple sequels (which of course I will get too and watch) as it is just that bad and cheesy. The final scenes takes the bloody cake and dear god what happened to Tara Reid that alone is scarier than the sharks.
Kiss of the Tarantula (1976)
Director: Chris Munger
Main Stars: Suzanna Ling, Eric Mason, Rebecca Eddins, Susan Eddins
Storyline: A young woman has revenge on her peers with her pet tarantula’s
Review (Spoils): Susan’s favorite pets and friends were spiders since she was a young girl. Her mother never understood this and would punish her for it and kill them on sight. When Susan found out her mom was screwing around and planning to kill her dad she had her little pets go visit mommy at night.
Years later she is still close to spiders and when life throws her a curve ball she has revenge on them with her pets. We have lots of spiders, a spider on the face, on the head, lots on hands, a nasty head scene in a parked car, some drunks boys and a dirty old uncle. Suzanna Ling steals the show as grown up Susan!
Rating: I love classic 70s horror films and this one is no different. This was a fun film and the storyline was not bad. No over the top gore or blood in this one but just a nice creepy spider film with the lovely Suzanna Ling playing the main character.
Piranha 3DD (2012)
Director: John Gulager
Main Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Ving Rhames, David Hasselhoff, Katrina Bowden, Meagan Tandy, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, David Koechner , Christopher Lloyd,
Storyline: After sometime a new water park opens and the piranhas are back.
Review (Spoils): The series continues where it left off which flashbacks, the basic storyline is a dirty uncle (David Koechner )wants to make money so he opens an adult water theme park even though his niece (Danielle Panabaker) who is half owner id against it. During this time some rednecks disturb the eggs of some piranhas when moving the body of a dead floating cow. The nasty species makes its way to the park where the T&A becomes a bloodbath.
We have the very cute Danielle Panabaker trapped in this silly continuation of the series. We have lots of blood in the water, exploding cows, lots of T&A, some lame storyline of nerd boy loves the girl but she likes the dirty cop story, a penis scene that was dumb and of course the Hoff. There is lots of floating hands (not sure why piranhas don’t eat these…must have been a box deal on floating hands), some chuckles and some stupidity such as the machine gun in the leg. The highlight of the film is the T&A, Danielle Panabaker and David Hasselhoff. The piranhas were so fake it was impossible to even take it a bit serious, more fake then the bimbos in the film.
Rating: This film failed but at the same time was still watchable. The last one was not horrible but this one should be the nail to the coffin of the series. There is cheesy fun but this kind of was leaning too much on the dumb side, much like a Troma film but unfortunate not one.
Son of Kong (1933)
Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Main Stars: Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack, Frank Reicher
Storyline: The men who captured the original King Kong try to regain their reputation.
Review (Spoils): When Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is hit hard with lawsuits over the damages that King Kong when he escaped and attacked New York he decides he better skip town. He gets it into his head why not head back the lost islands where he found the original King Kong. During this trip he grabs some shady crew and beautiful runaway Hilda (Helen Mack) who jump aboard because after her father’s murder she had nothing left to live for. Once the land on the Island of Kong they come across the Son of Kong who is not as large as his father and Denham feels he owes him and builds a friendship due to what happened to his bigger father. This leads to treasure, greed and backstabbing and of course the large ape.
We have some very poor dialogue, very emotionalise lines (like the scene after her father’s death), some cool animal battles and the climax ending in the water when the islands decides to sink. This film is not even close to the first one, actually really far away from it. The comical scenes of the ape are just dumb, the acting is poor and the reasoning behind the ending is really unexplained. The only good of the film was the creature battles and the musical scene of Hilda and the monkeys. The rest just stunk!
Rating: Very rushed, poor execute and the ape is was just silly and you could not connect with a creature that makes comical eyes. The friendly ape was just not entertaining and the really a bandage for the finger? The funny and wanna be comedy bits killed the film.
Kingdom of Spiders (1977)
Director: John Bud Cardos
Main Stars: William Shatner, Tiffany Bolling , Woody Strode
Storyline: farm are being killed off and after investigating the place is home to massive tarantulas
Review (Spoils): After an investigation on farm animal deaths super sexy cowboy hat wearing vet Rack Hansen nails it down that the town is now located to a hoard of tarantulas. With the help of the hot city slicker Diane Ashley (Tiffany Bolling ) they find out that the animals are dying from venom and track it down to spider venom. Of course they need to figure out a solution to eliminate the spiders which causing the whole town in fear and also without disrupting the county fair.
We have lots of tarantulas, some webbing, William Shatner, beautiful desert scenes, cows, hordes of tarnatulas that like zombies from Night of the Living Dead. This film is not horrible believe it or not it’s your typical “when animals attack type thing”. We have the young sexy vet making eyes (come one its Shatner he has to try to score somehow!) and the hot young Diane who together makes a good character builds.
Rating: Who does not like William Shatner? Cheezy or not this film is not bad..it’s not great but I have seen a hell of a lot worse when it comes to animal horror films. This is was probably one of the better spider films of its time till Arachnophobia came out. If you don’t’ like spiders then you will like this film for the creepy attacks and jumps. Who knew tarantulas moved so fast!
Director: Joe Dante
Main Stars: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies-Urich, Kevin McCarthy
Storyline: Some piranha’s get released into the waters of a summer resort.
Review (Spoils): Some young backpackers go skinny dipping in an old military post in which is invested by killer fish. The pond gets investigated by during the search the pond gets drained to see if they can find some clues of the young couple. Well the draining actually drains the killer fish in the water system.
We find out that the military created a mutate breed of piranha for the Vietnam War and now they are released in the populist. People start to get eating alive while swimming, touching the water, changing motors on a boat and what is more fun than involving a summer camp? Lots of blood in the water!
Rating: Coming from the era and cash in of Jaws comes another film that has terror in the water. The acting is not the greatest but the film really is not that bad. Sure the sound of the attacking fish can be annoying and almost comical but it is what it is….piranhas! This opened the door for some really bad sequels but luckily the film series was brought to life again with the 3D version. Grab some beers , some friends and watch the little fishies go wild.