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.
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.
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.
The Mummy (1959)
Director: Terence Fisher
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux
Storyline: The tomb of Princess Ananka has been invaded and since a mummy is stalking the ones involved.
Review (Spoils): A bunch of archaeologists discover a hidden untouched tomb (not sure how they could of missed yet) of the late Princess Ananka (Yvonne Furneaux). When they enter the tomb they get cursed by an Egyptian local and her lost high priest (Christopher Lee) who is now a mummy comes back to life to haunt and terrorize those people that entered the tomb. 3 years later the relics of the tomb get transferred to England and so does the mummy and he continues his terror upon the ones that despoiled the ancient tomb.
This film is messed up in storyline, we start with what is happening in Egypt, then scroll over to England and then have 20min of a flash back before the time in Egypt and then once again thrown into the present. Peter Cushing is playing the part of the son even though he is 100 years old. Christopher Lee plays the high priest and the mummy which is not bad. The make-up is actually well done and I like the way the monster moves but the plot and story is pretty weak.
Rating: I usually enjoy a good Hammer Horror film but this one seemed weak. Christopher Lee was good as the monster but the rest of cast did not cut it for me. Even Yvonne Furneaux seemed lacking for a Hammer film which normally the leading ladies are all over the script. It just felt to setup and forced to be entertaining.
House of Wax (2005)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Main Stars: Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton, Elisha Cuthbert
Storyline: A group of teens get stranded near and wax museum and try to fight for their lives against an unknown killer.
Review (Spoils): A group of friends were on their way to a football game and they come across car trouble (suprise!) so they end up in a nearby town called Ambrose which is known for its House of Wax. Well the town is actually pretty deserted and they learn the story of the Sinclairs that use to run the House of Wax from the friendly mechanic. This leads also that the teens already pissed someone off the night before while camping and it could of possibly lead the car issue and now all of them slowly disappearing and getting killed.
Another remake to hit the site and yet another film is not that great. Annoying teens from Hollywood and some typical trash such as broken down vehicles and strangers that do not talk but come back and cause shit and of and the charming stranger from the strange town that seems too friendly. Lots of melted wax on skin, some stabbings, a couple slices, a metal pole impaling (yeah…cheered on this one) and strange storyline. This was too polished by Hollywood and was such a mix bag from the original.
Rating: First off you known your horror films are going to suck if you have Paris Hilton in it…come on. That tips the bar of being a remake to begin with; even the beautiful Elisha Cuthbert cannot save the film from that. Poor Vincent Price would be rolling in his grave.
Don’t Let Him in (2001)
Director: Kelly Smith
Main Stars: Sophie Linfield, Sam Hazeldine, Gordon Alexander, Gemma Harvey, Jason Carter, Esther Shephard
Storyline: A group head out to a cottage for the weekend and killings start to happen.
Review (Spoils): A group heads out to the wilderness on a weekend and weak hearted Mandy (Gemma Harvey) brings Tristan (Gordon Alexander) with her who she just met. Hell why not right?
We learn that a serial killer is on the loose named the Tree Surgeon because the killer likes to hang body parts from tree branches. As strangers appear at the front door with slashes and we all try to guess who the serial killer is and if it is really Tristan the body count rises.
Sigh not sure where to begin with this one. The acting and characters are pretty wooden for my liking and to be honest I did not care if they all did die. Too much talking, too many dumb decisions made by the characters, for example if someone is gutted and shows up at your door…maybe I don’t know… call 911 or the police? We have blood and we have gore but we also have the normal cliché stuff in the horror films and the final scene is just bizarre and too set up.
Rating: The Tree Surgeon fails as a great memorable killer and even this film fails as being a memorable horror film. The only thing that was okay with this film was the death scenes but that won’t even save it from the lack of characters and plot.
Director: Gil Kenan
Main Stars: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clementts, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett
Storyline: A young family moves into a new place that is haunted and their young daughter gets abducted.
Review (Spoils): The Bowens move into a new house which none of the three kids are too excited about. We have money issues and the youngest a girl named Madison (Kennedi Clementts ) starts to play with some imaginary friends in her new bedroom. The middle child a young boy named Griffon (Kyle Catlett) starts to complain about the weirdness of the house and before you know it the madness starts.
Basically if you have seen the original then you have seen this in a better shape and form. They took all three past films and tried to use the best parts and jammed it into this mess. Why a mess? Well there is nothing original to this at all that stands out. We have the tree, the clown doll, the rope, the goo, the TV and some over the top looking CGI. The only thing that kept me interested as a character was the young parents (Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt ) and the oldest daughter Kendra (Saxon Sharbino). The other children fell flat and I personally did not care if they got taken away….which is bead as they are the focus characters.
Rating: Same old song and dance with this one and once again a bad remake that failed and should have never been made. I was actually bored with this film and towards the middle to the end it seemed rushed and cheesy. Why will Hollywood not learn from making remakes of so many classic horror films.