House of the Dead 2 (2005)
Director: Michael Hurst
Main Stars: Emmanuelle Vaugier, Ed Quinn, Sticky Fingaz, Victoria Pratt, Sid Haig
Storyline: A virus spreads along a university and some scientists and SWAT team invade to stop the zombie like virus.
Review (Spoils): The film starts with some typical TA teenage craziness as for some reason a virus from school is spreading and creating zombies. We learn that a lunatic Professor Curien (Sid Haig) has a main zombie that he trying to bring back to life from the dead. Zombies bite and the virus spreads across the campus until the beautiful Emmanuelle Vaugier comes to the case.
Many zombies, lots of biting and who knew that all SWAT Teams are fine getting changed together no matter what sex and feel very conformable with sexual harassment. There is some blood and the special effects are not bad for a TV movie but the storyline is boring as Hell. The acting is okay, the character Ed Quinn played annoyed me. However, Emmanuelle Vaugier was hot and that held the movie together enough for me to watch it through.
Rating: This film was not great but it had Emmanuelle Vaugier and did not have the stupid video graphics like the first film. In addition, as a bonus we have the classic Sid Haig for the first part of the film and another babe by the name of Victoria Pratt. Better than the first film with all that alone.
The Devil Doll (1936)
Director: Tod Browning
Main Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O’Sullivan, Frank Lawton
Storyline: A lunatic and a banker uses mini people to grant revenge against the ones that fraud him.
Review (Spoils): Paul Lavond (Lionel Barrymore) is a banker but he was framed for robbery and murder and placed into prison. He escapes in time and with the help of scientist friend who can create little people (reducing real people smaller) and plan revenge.
Therefore, the story begins with the tale of the banker being wrong by his associates and wants everyone to pay for that backstab (fair enough). He meets a maniac in prison named Marcel who can create creatures and reduce them to inches. After Marcel’s death, the banker uses his tools to over take his plan of revenge. He plays most of the movie as Madame Mandilip who owns a doll shop as a front to over up his revenge.
The majority of this film is Madame Mandilip (Lionel Barrymore posing as an old woman) and showing the miniature effects of people being on inches high which the movie Son of Frankenstein took from. The film is much like other Tod Browning films as he has always had a thing for people who were indifferent or have some type of disability (in this case the mute young woman). Nothing shocking or scary with this film but it thick in plot and storyline.
Rating: Lionel Barrymore sticks out in the film, as he can be entertaining as he is playing multiple roles in this story. The miniature people are interesting but after a while, I found myself bored as the story line was too thick and there was not enough scares to keep me laughing or entertained. I preferred The Unholy Three.
One Missed Call (2008)
Director: Eric Valette
Main Stars: Edward Burns, Shannyn Sossamon, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ray Wise, Azura Skye
Storyline: Voicemails start to show up from people’s future selves, which details their own deaths.
Review (Spoils): Remake time again, man horror has to be the worse for this. A young woman gets a voicemail detailing the date and time she will die and it does happen. A friend of hers starts to investigate the accident with the girl’s boyfriend. We learn that he got a call also and then meets his death. The detective for the investigations sister was the first victim and they try to tie the killer to her and a name of woman Marie Layton. What is with Marie Layton that is causing this on going voicemail curse?
Bring out the jump scares of clichés. We have lots of phone calls, flip phones, bad acting, poor storyline, creepy music and oh possessed cell phones. This film is lacking in much as it does not make much sense. The jump scenes are too common and you can sense them by the music so the scares are lacking and the whole ghost through the phone is just lame. We have some ghouls, ghosts and some similarities to the Final Destination series.
Rating: Go to the original film please, stay away from this one unless you want to see Shannyn Sossamon on the screen only. This film is full of holes, lack of a solid plot and somehow the device is tied to a long time curse. So stay away from your voice mailbox and you will live. Unless you are a cat then you will die for no reason except your owner is a idiot.
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.