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.
Cabin Fever (2016)
Director: Travis Zariwny
Main Stars: Gage Golightly, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis, Nadine Crocker, Dustin Ingram, Randy Schulman, Louise Linton
Storyline: A group of young people go to a cabin in the woods and become sick from the water supply.
Review (Spoils): Remake time yet again in the world of horror. This time it is one of gems of the horror world Cabin Fever. The story does not stretch far from the original except the characters are a little more paper thin, the dialogue is vague and you actually can be annoyed at the beginning of the film with the characters. But it makes up some of this with the gore.
We have pretty much the same scenes as the original film (which gives a question why the remake) and the blood is not as good but there is plenty still. We have gory dogs, puking blood, the classic shave scene, unnecessary sex scenes (nice body Nadine Crocker), gun shots, rotting flesh, nasty bleeding, some stupid dropin characters that were not needed and the cute Gage Golightly.
Rating: This film is pretty much the same thing but not as funny and the characters are a bit more annoying. The film has the same amount of gore but the sex scenes are annoying and not needed and the characters that just dropin in the film make no sense. This hurts the film, if they would have just stuck with the blood and gore and Gage Golightly this film could have been rated higher.
Director: Michael Dougherty
Main Stars: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Conchata Ferrell, Krista Stadler, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, David Koechner
Storyline: A young boy wishes for things to be like old times for Christmas, Krampus grants his wish.
Review (Spoils): Young Max wants an old fashion Christmas and writes a note and it gets read out loud at the dysfunctional Christmas dinner. This prompts Krampus to appear that night and grant his wish. One by one the family Christmas gets ripped apart so that poor Max will be happy.
First off its spring why this film now? Well I have a young family I try my hardest to get this horror films in whenever I can. This film is like Gremlins meets Pumpkinhead with a nice touch of one liners and comedy. A nasty winter storm is background scenery of this film while we have hoofs, monster goblin elves, stabbing candy canes, creepy clowns, harpy angel dolls, killer teddy bears and the classic gingerbread men all on the hunt in the name of Krampus. Oh and of course the man himself in all his long tongue and massive horned glory. A nice chocking of Christmas lights and some interesting scenes as Krampus grabs the children one by one but do not expect a gore or blood drive in this one. the film had enough scenes that was action packed but was expecting a lot more of the horror.
Rating: This film was not as dark as I thought it was going to be. I was expecting more jumps and some red stuff but instead we had some character build, one liners, the beautiful Toni Collette and the best part of the film the killer gingerbread men. This could of used more blood….
The Black Scorpion (1957)
Director: Edward Ludwig
Main Stars: Richard Denning, Mara Corday, Carlos Rivas
Storyline: Giant scorpions attack Mexico City
Review (Spoils): Volcanic activity erupts and the people of Mexico City are in chaos and to add to matters worse this brought upon giant vermin on to the land. During the first signs of trouble we have Hank Scott (Richard Denning) and Artur Ramos (Carlos Rivas) running around in a jeep rescuing babies (great scene… love the throw the kid in the front seat) and saving damsels ranch owners that can’t ride a horse Teresa (Mara Corday).
We have mean drooling, front facing, running giant scorpions and just when you thought it was over we have the bigger black scorpion. That is not all when it comes to the vermin we are giant earthworms and a weird looking spider also. The romance bit of the film and the young kid running around can be a bit annoying.
Rating: I’m being honest I have seen way better monster films of the drive-in era. The story is trying too hard to be Them!! And the acting is not that great. The best part of the film is the actual special effects of the scorpions but nothing really shocking or different in this film outside the beasts. I sooner drink beer to One-Eyed Doll’s Death Scorpion for an hour and a half.
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Main Stars: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damien Lewis, Donnie Wahlberg
Storyline: A group of young men when camping discover that they are being plagued by a parasitic alien.
Review (Spoils): Ever year since they were kids a group of young men travel to Maine Woods. This year it just happens to be in the winter during a massive blizzard. They discover a man on his lonesome travelling and when they take him in for shelter they learn it is more than they bargained for. One by one they start to witness a parasite that is overtaking them.
Take the film Stand by Me and place a bit of The Thing in it and you have the formula for Dreamcatcher. You really cannot go wrong with that and with the list of actors in this film it is a good ride. We have a nice winter horror film with a nice touch of sci-fi and lots of blood and gore to cover the white. The monster itself is interesting you really do not have a full image of what it is (much like The Thing) which leaves lots for the imagination.
Rating: This is a great winter feel horror film outside the Christmas themes. The acting is well done and the scenery and music add to the film. We have enough red in the film and flash back character build that the film keeps you entertained. Its not everyday that you get a guys guy horror film without the fleeing scream queens.
Alien 4: Resurrection (1997)
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Main Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon
Storyline: Ellen Ripley is revived and is now part human and alien as she continues her war against the beasts.
Review (Spoils): 200 years after the last film, we resurrect Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) with the process of cloning but during the process the DNA get’s mixed up with the alien DNA from the Queen. Ripley becomes an offshoot of an alien mutant and the scientist start to breed aliens. The Xeno-morphs start to roam the ship and start taking over is which just happens to be on its way to Earth. So Ripley and her new team need to once again put a stop to the alien horde and their Queen.
This film brought a new spin to the Ripley character and brought us a even more powerful alien as new breed is born. The first three films of the series actually closed the deal on the original story and this one just seems to be placed out there to cash on the name. The film does have action and aliens just keep you on track but the characters themselves seem cardboardish. I was even disappointed with the character Winona Ryder played (which normally I enjoy her acting). The film scream more sci-fi then actual horror more then ever.
Rating: This film is just a drag on the very last part of a cigarette when it comes to the Aliens series. The film is not horrible but when you place it with the first three it can not compare. But I love Sigourney Weaver so I will not mark this film too hard. But it seemed to me that this film became to sci-fi for me as being a horror fan if that makes any sense.