Thursday, January 29, 2015



Spirits is the latest film from Todd Sheets. Being from the Kansas City area Todd Sheets has always been a hometown hero of mine. In his early days when he was churning out flicks like Zombie Rampage, Nightmare Asylum and many others you could literally feel the passion for horror flooding out of the screen on any nearby tube TV that you had the pleasure of viewing it on. These early films from him were low budget DIY horror in its most primal form and although Todd seems to dislike these efforts that's were the passion started for me. Sheets took a brief hiatus from horror to focus on his radio show Nightwatch and also encountered some health problems before returning. Luckily these past few years the master of splatter has slowly but surely been making his triumphant return to horror. Unfortunately I've still not had the privilege to see The House of Forbidden Secrets but I was lucky enough to snag a copy of the limited VHS release of Spirits.

Spirits follows a group of teens who are obsessed with the paranormal investigation shows on TV. After one of the girls in the group scores a job at the Shadowview Manor she quickly hears rumors from coworkers that the building is haunted. Being the supernatural enthusiasts that they are they decide to sneak into the buildings after hours with cameras in hand. They show up with their fancy ghost detecting gadgets and soon realize they aren't alone in the building. They bump into the janitor that has been working the late shift there for ages. He is all too ready to give insight on the rumors of the building being haunted and begins to discuss all of the evil things that have occurred there over the years. 

After a bit of conversation with the custodian the group notices the guy seems to have a few screws loose. He leads them down to a section of the building where he claims to feel the most energy and then heads off when his shift is over. The teens begin to play with the Ouija board in the dark room. Once the dial begins to move they become pretty startled. Little do they know a little Ouija board activity will soon be the least of their worries. The Shadowview Manor has a life of it's own and it believes that the supernatural isn't something that the local teens have any business meddling with. Banging starts happening throughout the building, dolls appear out of nowhere, chairs are found stacked and that's just scratching the surface of what our wannabe paranormal investigators will be experiencing.

Spirits is an extremely odd outing for Todd Sheets. It is done in the found footage style that has grown more and more popular in recent years. Normally I'm not a huge fan of this style but I love it when it's done right (which is not as often as I'd like). The really strange thing about the film though is the fact that it is completely goreless. Sheets has become well known for his extremely gory horror onslaughts that aren't shy about showing the red stuff. This proves not to be a problem for the film though, merely a surprise. The story doesn't necessarily call for much in terms of bloodshed. 

The best thing about this movie is the very convincing performances from our tiny cast. This was achieved by the genius idea of not the letting the cast know what was going to happen or when it was going to happen. This technique got some excellent authentic performances from all the actors and actresses involved. One of the things that sets this one apart from the recent batch of other supernatural found footage films is this aspect. Spirits easily has the most convincing reactions from the cast and it doesn't hurt that the dialogue doesn't consist of them mentioning the fact that they are recording every few minutes. 

The genuine performances really help cause the aspect of this movie that makes it shine above the others in this vein. Suspense. My main problem with many of the supernatural found footage films of today is the fact that the suspense is substituted for a constant array of jump scares, or, even worse moving the movie along at a turtles pace and trying to pass it off as suspense due to how shocked the audience get when something finally happens. Spirits doesn't have that problem. From the moment this begins to the very moment the credits start running this film is OOZING with suspense. When a horror flick gets my pulse racing a little more than usual that's a sign that it is a success. I watch horror movies everyday and nowadays the pulse pounding is a semi-rare occurrence for me.

Overall Spirits quickly shot up the list as one of my favorite Todd Sheets flicks and also as one of my favorites of 2014. I've got my fingers crossed that The House of Forbidden Secrets will be up to par when it gets released. Sheets sure set the bar high for his return to horror with this one. Highly recommend this to all the horror fans out there. Even if found footage and low budget horror aren't up your alley. This film surpasses the restraints of both of those things and prevails as just a damn good horror flick. Plain and simple. GET IT!

Die Die Delta Pi


Die Die Delta Pi is the second feature film directed by Sean Donohue (Joe Vampire). The film is a throwback to the classic, steamy sorority house slashers of the 80's. Die Die kicks off in 1986 during Spring Break for the Delta Pi sorority. We are quickly introduced to the bitchy, wino housemother, along with the many air-headed women in the sorority. One of the girls was accepted in strictly due to one of her relatives. Her rabid interests in observatories and science in general clash with the other girls in the house. As the annual sorority bonfire is getting underway the girls hatch a plan to pull a little harmless gag on the token nerdy girl. Things go South when the gag backfires. Unfortunately the ditsy sorority girls were just one brain cell short of realizing that flammable substances near bonfires are a bad idea. As she burns one of the men at the bonfire flees to the sorority house for help only to find everyone within murdered. It is revealed early on that the housemother is the killer but the film still manages to pack a solid twist later on.

Flash forward to present day. One of the survivors from the horrific Delta Pi slayings of 1986 has now settled down and has a daughter. The Delta Pi house is finally opening back up just in time for her innocent daughter to start college. Her mother is having a tough time letting her daughter go off to college and the fact that Delta Pi is open again isn't helping matters. She has buried the memories of the horrible events years ago and the situation is bringing all of it back to the forefront. Eventually she ends up visiting the site of the old bonfire where the atrocity occurred. She bumps into another survivor of the events who is now working as a local sheriff. The only other survivor resides nearby in a mental institution. This proves to be the perfect time for the killer to strike and wipe out the remaining members from 86' and modern day all in one glorious bloodbath.

 The daughter is immediately invited into the Delta Pi along with her friends for initiation. Some stripping occurs just in time to get the spanking started! All the things that make you want to enroll in college and gain some smarts are present here. After a bit of sexiness happens the story of the murders that shut down Delta Pi is told around campfire. Meanwhile back at the college the housemother is back with a vengeance. She's armed with cyanide pills, a butcher knife and an axe and she's taking no prisoners.

The flick sports great special effects from Marcus Koch. Not to mention his hilarious and rare cameo appearance. Plenty of kills are crammed in although I think it definitely wouldn't have hurt to have some of the kills from the 86' sorority happen onscreen. The pacing for the kills works out perfectly in the end though. Between the comedic banter and various awesome kills there isn't a dull moment throughout the entire runtime. The beginning section that takes place in 1986 is so well done. The walls are covered in hysterical posters that are plays on 80's pop culture. The dialogue is killer using words like "Grody!" and "Totally!" like it's going out of style. Did I mention nudity? There's plenty of that to be found here too.

Overall Die Die Delta Pi is a phenomenal throwback. I'm a sucker for sorority slashers in general but this is definitely one of the best that comes to mind in recent years. There's been quite a few slashers in this vein that have come out these past few years but this one really hits the nail on the head. The movie doesn't reinvent the wheel but it does a damn good update on it. I was genuinely blown away by how well the plot unravels. Going into a slasher like this plot wasn't really a concern but there are some really well done turns throughout the story. Keep in mind this is super low budget fare so the acting isn't exactly the most consistent. Luckily even the weakest acting performances just add to the camp level of the flick and don't ruin it. I'd recommend this one to any slasher fans out there. It delivers on the bloodshed and in the boob department. What more could you possibly want? This may be my favorite throwback slasher since Gutterballs and that's really saying something considering how highly I hold that flick. GET IT!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

HI-8: Horror Independent Eight


Hi-8 is an anthology film that is a homage of sorts to the shot on video classics of yesteryear. This underground answer to V/H/S features eight shorts from Tim Ritter, Marcus Koch, Tony Masiello, Ron Bonk, Chris Seaver, Todd Sheets, Donald Farmer and Brad Sykes. Since the announcement of this anthology I've been extremely pumped. Being a huge fan of the SOV horror classics myself immediately after seeing the list of filmmakers I had a fangasm (luckily blood-free).

The first short is "Switchblade Insane" directed by Tim Ritter (Truth or Dare, Killing Spree). Ritter's short starts this flick off right with one of the most ambitious stories of the bunch. A housewife who believes everything about her relationship is fairly normal comes to the realization that her husband is the serial rapist/murderer she keeps hearing about on the news. She follows him to one of his rituals with gun in hand. She's fully prepared to end it all until she sees his victim laid out and prepared for carving. Ritter manages to come up with a nice cohesive twist within his short stretch of runtime. "Switchblade Insane" proves to be one of the sleaziest of the bunch as well. Next up is "A Very Bad Situation" directed by Marcus Koch (100 Tears, ROT). An insane meteor shower has turned society upside down and we get to experience it in the claustrophobic environment of a garage. This segment features a tiny cast with a big amount of tension. This one flies by and goes out with an awesome face splitting bang. This is one that you just have to see. Very straightforward and well done. It delivers all the goods I've come to expect from Koch over the years.

"The Tape" is the third short and the directorial debut of Tony Masiello. I was unsure what to think of this one given that I'm not at all familiar with Masiello. Luckily this ends up being one of the best sections of the whole film. As a rabid fan Masiello really captures that love for SOV horror. An employee at a closing video rental store manages to snag an old VHS copy of an unreleased flick called "Bloodgasm". He goes home and pops it in the trusty VCR and is mesmerized by what he is seeing. So much so that he fucks his girlfriend without ever taking his eyes off of the hyper realistic gore. He soon decides that he must release the film. After trying to contact the cast he comes up empty handed until he finally reaches the actor who played the killer. Little does he know he may be getting himself into a shitstorm that he didn't anticipate.

Then we have "Gang Them Style", a hilarious romp directed by Ron Bonk (City of the Vampires, The Vicious Sweet). This segment had me laughing my ass off from start to finish. We're introduced to our 80's style badass Mongoose right out of the gate as he busts into a old folk's home to save his grandma. A zombie outbreak is at hand and Mongoose now has to save all of the senior citizens. Unfortunately for our hero the task of getting everyone to the van ten feet away may be too much to handle. This short KICKS ASS. It features so many great one liners with perfect delivery in such a short amount of time. Now the strangest of the bunch "Genre Bending" directed by Chris Seaver (I Spit Chew On Your Grave, Terror At Blood Fart Lake). This segment follows a woman getting stalked constantly by a local creeper. The stalker gets closer and closer in hilarious fashion (at one point he even appears between her legs). The short takes a turn when the stalker sneaks up on the woman while she's doing dishes. This one will definitely not be for everyone as it tries to put a humorous spin on rape. Not all the jokes here worked for me but it got a few laughs throughout.

The sixth short is "The Request" directed by Todd Sheets (Dead Things, Violent New Breed). Sheets shot the film in the radio station he uses for his Night Watch radio-show. The tale is of a radio host who is literally being haunted by his past. This short is easily the most traditional of the eight featured. "The Request" is a fairly subtle horror tale that would fit right in with Creepshow or the classic horror anthology shows of the past. Number seven is "Thicker Than Water" directed by Donald Farmer (Savage Vengeance, Scream Dream). It kicks off with a man trying to calm down his significant other. Crazy bitch would be an understatement here. He then discovers that she's pregnant and she leads him to the garage for a little surprise. She has his ex-girlfriend tied up and covered in blood and is ready to put an end to his past. The victim is played by Vanessa Nocera (Scaremaker, Wooden Stake), the metalhead in me had to mention this. Complete with Draino chugging this one delivers the goods.

The final short is "The Scout" directed by Brad Sykes (The Pact, Death Factory). Sykes conceived the idea for Hi-8 and also directed the wraparound along with this story. I've been a fan of all the Sykes films I've seen thus far but this short threw me for a loop. It follows a director and actress scouting for locations in the desert. After the car breaks down the sassy actress decides to go off on her own to find the road. She comes back and the director is gone. After finding the camcorder she discovers something very strange on the tape. I honestly just didn't really dig the ending of this one. I understand the idea of keeping the end open for an open interpretation, but throwing something nonsensical in with no explanation just didn't sit well with me in terms of how it meshed with the other shorts. On the other hand though I enjoyed the wraparound Sykes did much more. It really captures the essence of low budget filmmaking and takes a turn for the worst when the no budget filmmakers get a nice dose of real life horror.

Overall Hi-8 delivers the good stuff. You get eight great indie horror directors hitting you from eight different angles. The styles vary greatly from one story to the next. I was planning to accompany this review with a favorite to least favorite list of the shorts but in the end that proves to be more and more difficult the more I think about it. The shorts are all excellent for completely different reasons. In terms of humor "Gang Them Style" definitely takes the cake, but if I were to go with most well made I'd probably say "The Request" edged out the others. It's safe to say that "The Scout" and "Genre Bending" were the weakest for me but they weren't really bad by any means. All eight tales here blend together to create an extremely entertaining anthology and that's all that really matters in the end. Highly recommend this one for horror fans all across the board. Even those not into SOV or indie horror in general should be able to find something of value here. A fun movie is a fun movie, and there's no denying that regardless of your perspective. GET IT! I've got my fingers crossed for Hi-8 Part 2 with McBride getting in on the action!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cryptic Plasm

Cryptic Plasm is the latest flick from underground gore guru Brian Paulin. Paulin has been on a mean streak with a string of gore films that should go down as classics for years to come. Films like Fetus are exactly what I look for in horror. It sported a plot that was unique and effects that were enough to make the unsuspecting guests at my house gag. Even though his previous effort Blood Pigs suffered from a frame rate difficulty it was still easy to look past it with the inventive ideas and crazy ambitious nastiness that was brought forth. This is something you can always anticipate when going into one of Paulin's films. Ambition is never an issue and luckily unlike many others who can get a little too ambitious for their own good, Paulin actually has the talent necessary to pull off the insane ideas he comes up with.

The film follows a two man crew on a cryptozoologist show. In Search of Sasquatch style. Unlike most of these shows everywhere these guys go the footage delivers the goods. After a few successful shoots in various locations the crew makes their way into an abandoned town. An immediate eerie feeling washes over them when they step foot in the ghost town. Rightfully so, the sight itself is creepy. Houses still appear to look as though they would in any neighborhood. Cars decorate all the driveways and upon entering a house it appears that everyone was evacuated very abruptly.

David and his camera man soon realize that this may not be the case at all. A government evacuation seems likely upon first glance but once the crew sees something they can't unsee the situation seems to be much more complex. While investigating in one of the homes David catches a double of himself roaming around the house. He then freaks out big time and runs for the woods. The crew heads home shaken to the core. Unfortunately for our duo, you can't just leave this town and forget about it. It sticks with you and once you visit it just gets worse and worse as time goes by.

I'll refrain from going much deeper on plot but there's actually a lot of it crammed in for a 75 minute film. Soon after leaving the ghost town the slow descent into hell begins for the two leads. Cryptic Plasm wastes no time turning from slightly strange, to a fucking surreal nightmare. Paulin's effects skills are displayed in completely balls out fashion. This flick gets very INTENSE towards the end. So many great effects are packed into to the final act that it is truly mindblowing. I'd recommend many filmmakers to watch the final moments of this movie and take some damn notes. We need some more of this ambition in horror in general, independent and mainstream alike.

Overall Cryptic Plasm is an amazing horror flick. Brian Paulin has done it yet again. Much like the early work of Clive Barker and even underground greats like Olaf Ittenbach, Paulin manages to use his effects skills to make the viewer feel as though they've entered a whole new world. Seeing what he can do on such a low budget is astounding but I couldn't even begin to imagine the kind of epic he could create with a million dollars at his disposal. It's too bad the mainstream is all too ready to throw their money in the wrong places. I can't praise his work enough. In this day and age many low budget filmmakers are so prepared to go the self aware cheesed up horror comedy route. While there is a place for that it is great to have people like Paulin and a few others keeping a balance in this area. This is serious horror for serious horror fans with a hefty amount of gore to back it up. Even if you're not one to normally one to give horror on a budget a shot I'd still recommend giving this one a watch. GET IT.
If Cryptic Plasm sounds like it may be up your alley then this link may be of interest. Brian Paulin currently has a crowdfunding campaign going so that he can press professional DVD's for the film. Give the link a look and support independent horror if you can swing it. HELP FUND CRYPTIC PLASM!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Cemetery


The Cemetery is the latest horror film directed by Adam Ahlbrandt (Cross Bearer). Adam Ahlbrandt has moved his way up the ranks of low budget horror big time these past few years. Cross Bearer got a damn fine ride on the hype train before it's new release through Toetag. It would be difficult to argue that the films success is undeserved. That being said this one takes the cake as Albrandt's best film thus far in my opinion. In the film we follow a group of non-believing paranormal investigators filming a reality show called "Ghost Seekers". They've been working this gig for awhile now and have been far and wide and every single "haunted" location has been a major bust. For the crew these shows are just a solid excuse for knockin' boots and rippin' bongs while making some cash in the process. For this episode of the show they are traveling into the woods at a location where hundreds of possessed people were killed by priests during extremely violent exorcisms. In the good ol' days holy water wasn't the go-to for an exorcism. A solid decapitation did the trick just fine.

Little does our team of low rent Ghostbusters know the story told about this location is in fact not a load of bullshit. Andrea, the one member of the team who does actually take interest in the supernatural, begins to cough and struggle to breathe during the seance. The rest of the crew decides to completely ignore this nice little warning. There's no time for the supernatural, they've got joints to smoke and vaginas to poke. As the law of the woods states, when joints get smoked and vaginas get poked penis cleansing, death and carnage ALWAYS follow shortly after. The film delivers and we get all three of these things mighty quickly.

Shit hits the fan before we know it. Affairs are revealed, people are angry, bones are removed from legs and used as weapons. I'll be willing to bet that last one got your attention. The Cemetery doesn't waste much time putting it's viewer knee deep in gore. The effects look fantastic and they are served up in surplus. One of my personal favorite decapitations committed to film is contained within. I won't give away which one it is (trust me there's plenty) but you'll know it when you get there. I've also got to give major props to whoever designed the contacts for the possessed. Those look amazing and are truly eerie to gaze at. One of my favorite things about the scenes involving effects is how spastic the editing gets. These sequences get just crazy enough with the cuts to cause a slight disorienting feel without overkilling it.

The one gripe I do have with the film is the soundtrack. The music is great, courtesy of Willowtip Records. It sports some of the best bands on the label and as a metalhead myself I enjoyed the tunes. That being said I've never been one to care much for metal being utilized in horror. This is simply a matter of preference but to a certain extent I feel like a blasting soundtrack is enough to take a person out of the film. As stated before this isn't a huge issue, just me nitpicking. It is easily a better soundtrack than the endless list of horror films that blast shitastic nu-metal/metalcore tracks at any given opportunity.

Overall The Cemetery is an extremely solid low budget horror flick. It's great to see a good film tackling this subject on a budget. There are many flicks that come out constantly in this subgenre but very few hit the mark. The Cemetery hits the mark and then some. We get gore sequences that pack a punch almost seamlessly with classy scenes of dialogue that are hysterical. Any film that has a previous victim's bones being used as a murder weapon is perfection in my book. I'm very interested to see where Ahlbrandt goes from here. Definitely recommend this one to indie horror fans and gorehounds out there alike. GET IT!

This is my second time reviewing this film. The original was in the only print attempt I ever did for Foul Feast (and indefinitely the last). Upon buying Ahlbrandt's films again for their new releases (one from Massacre Video, another from Toetag Inc.) I figured it'd be cool to upload some reviews after being able to watch the movies multiple times and sitting with them for awhile. Plenty more reviews to come and I'll be re-reviewing quite a few things from that issue. The site is officially revived as of now. For good this time. No one month and done bullshit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dead Nude Girls


Dead Nude Girls is the latest sleazefest from low budget extraordinaire Ryan Nicholson (Gutterballs, Hanger). Ryan Nicholson has had a very strong run of films since the beginning of his career. His directorial debut Torched delivers as one of the most grim rape revenge depictions in cinemas history. It holds the title of first movie that ever made me reach for the pause button out of pure disgust.

Needless to say I've followed his career for a very long time now and out of all his films there has yet to be a real dud. I still hold Gutterballs as his crowning achievement but I can't say Torched, Hanger, and Bleading lady are far behind. There's a really nicely done throwback feel to all of his movies and he is without a doubt one of the best in the low budget circuit at capturing that feeling without it seeming forced. Dead Nude Girls has been widely mentioned as a step deeper into the depravity of his past films. The flick is essentially an anthology of three tales of female degradation, crotch mutilation, and a little pee for good measure.

Story one kicks off with Ryan Nicholson playing a madman who just wants people to be polite. After he stumbles upon two young women who won't let him pitch a tent with them he gets very angry. Later that night he drugs the two women and takes them back to his place for some good ol' fashioned vagina woundin'. This segment is extremely strange. We get some nice Casio keyboard sounding dance music to compliment blood squirting from crotches. Picture all this spread out into a much longer scene than you would expect and you have quite the disorienting experience on your hands.

After that sleazed up bundle of joy we go into the second section titled "Golden Shower". I wonder what this will consist of? Our beloved madman Ryan Nicholson is interviewing a caretaker in pretty hilarious fashion. Everybody knows that caretakers should do spongebaths naked. I mean, c'mon, the elderly need something to look forward to! Ryan okays the caretaker to come into the other room with him. The conversation goes like this;

Caretaker: (looks in disgust) What the fuck is going on here?!?
Madman: THIS BITCH!!!!
And then what I can only imagine is piss gets thrown in her face in hilarious fashion (sadly I realized on second viewing it was in fact tea, not pee but I am going to continue to imagine it as pee because it is much funnier that way). Now this is my kind of party. Soon the victim is tied up dangling over the bath tub. It can only be assumed that things are going to get quite messy since our killer didn't mind all the vaginal blood on his floor in the first segment. Torture occurs for a little bit and then we have a bloodied victim in the tub. How will she ever get clean again?! Of course, the blood will wash right off with the help of a little urine. The madman begins to pee all over her and we get possibly the best moment of the film. The camera cuts briefly to Ryan's cat, who clearly, is not okay with his antics. The cat's face screams "What the fuck man? Seriously?". Comedy gold in the form of golden showers indeed.

"RUMP ROAST" is the third tale where Ryan picks up some ladies off of the streets. More of the same occurs in similar fashion to the first two portions of the film. Filled with sleaze and depravity all three stories are sure to please all of you sick bastards out there. It's interesting to see Ryan Nicholson tackling the lead role in the film. He actually does a pretty damn good job executing the crazed maniac role. He sports a sick sense of humor, which is especially notable in the scene where he interviews the caretaker. The gore effects here are top notch, as with any Nicholson fare. There are plenty of great effects to found here, although most of them stick to a specific part of the body.

Overall Dead Nude Girls is an interesting experience to say the very least. I can't say I loved it, I can't say I hated it. While I found the film to be hilarious at times I'm not sure if it was intended to be that way or if I am just a very, very sick individual. The cat cut has me leaning towards the prior. Nearly everything Ryan Nicholson has done prior has that signature dark humor intertwined with the fucked up factor. Other sites seem to think that this one is completely drained of that and I would have to disagree wholeheartedly. Is it a little more on the depraved side? Yes. With that being said though even the most downright mean moments in this film have a very strange, warped, tainted sense of humor to them. I can't really recommend Dead Nude Girls to everybody out there. Reading the review should give you some sort of idea of whether this will be up your alley or not. If you enjoy flicks drenched in various bodily fluids you'll more than likely enjoy. Fans of pseudo snuff may also be interested as it does have a similar tone to other flicks within that style. I thoroughly enjoyed the film even if it was possibly for all the wrong reasons. Sickos should give this a watch.

Butcher Baker, Nightmare Maker AKA Night Warning Review

"College is for rich kids and people with brains. You wouldn't fit in!"

Butcher Baker, Nightmare Maker AKA Night Warning is a horror/thriller from 1982 directed by William Asher (probably best known for his extensive work on TV's Bewitched). The film was inducted into the now infamous Video Nasties list shortly after its release. This is one of the more overlooked titles on the list but it easily manages to hold its own up there with the best of them. Although the film only contains a couple scenes of violence it does have an underlying theme that definitely makes it quite a bit more grim than most of the others that occupy the list.

The film kicks off with poor Billy's parents dying in a pretty intense car accident. We pick up years later and Billy is living with his Aunt Cheryl who seems to have quite the thing for him. Billy's life is going great, he's got a chance at a full ride scholarship for his basketball skills and is finally getting with the girl of his dreams. Aunt Cheryl refuses to let him leave for college. Especially if it's the same college his new slut girlfriend will be attending. She needs a man around the house and Billy is the perfect fit.

Things all go downhill from here when Cheryl tries to get with a local repairman at their house. When the man refuses she gets furious and stabs the life out of him with a kitchen knife. Billy's Aunt immediately goes the "attempted rape" route as soon as she realizes Billy witnessed the final moments of the murder. The cops clearly aren't buying the story as they raddle off lines like, "Wasn't his day. Poor guy didn't even get his pecker out". From here on Cheryl's downward spiral starts at full force. Nothing will come between her and Billy.

The extremely strong incestuous overtones in this film really makes it stand out. There's something particularly eerie about Billy's Aunt waking him up by sensually scratching him and purring like a cat. This flick is loaded with creepy moments with that tone. Susan Tyrrell gives an amazingly convincing performance as the sex deprived Aunt who sees her nephew as the solution. Somehow the twist revealed at the latter half of the film somehow manages to make the incest theme even more skin crawling than before.

Overall Butcher Baker, Nightmare Maker is a damn good horror flick of the early 80's. If you go into it expecting a proper Video Nasties gore-fest you'll be letdown, but as a film it works on every level. I'm sure most of the seasoned Video Nasties watchers have seen more disappointing flicks on that front from the list (I'm looking at you The Witch Who Came From the Sea!). Great acting and pacing keep this one ahead of the pack luckily. I'd recommend this one for people looking to check out a very solid horror/thriller. Get it.

The Centerfold Girls Review

"He was their JUDGE... JURY... and EXECUTIONER!"

The Centerfold Girls is a classic overlooked horror/exploitation film from 1974. The flick stars Andrew Prine (Simon, King of the Witches) as a killer armed with a straight razor and a nudie magazine. In a very odd way The Centerfold Girls is an anthology flick of sorts. The movie is split into three chapters. Each chapter consists of our killer Clement Dunne stalking and killing another victim from his adult magazine.

The movie kicks off with us following our first victim. She's a nurse who's been getting some real creepy calls lately. Out of the kindness of her heart she picks up a young girl hitchhiking who seems nice enough. Little does she know this girl is a member of a Manson Family style cult and she has plans to throw an awesome cult party at the house. Things go South quickly when our victim complains about the noisy, joint ashing hippies keeping her from getting some sleep. She escapes only to fall into another sleazed up situation, and only then are we introduced to the killer in the story.

This first story is one of the most jarring ways a film could possibly open. So many horrible events for victim number one are crammed into such a short period of time that it's staggering. All to just be snuffed out with the swiftness from Clement Dunne. The second story gives the viewer a little time to get a chance to breathe after all the atrocities committed in the first. Although the body count is the highest in this segment it is easily the most tame of the three. There are some great moments in this one that almost feel as though they were influenced by Italian cinema from this period. Dunne systematically picks off a group of people working on a model shoot. Soon after we're right back in full blown sleaze mode with chapter three in this twisted tale. Complete with roofies, rape and degradation it is amazing that director John Peyser (mostly known for television shows) went so balls out in the only horror film he directed in his career.

 Andrew Prine plays this sharp dressed killer like a champ. He possesses a certain cold, emptiness that really sets this flick off with the perfect tone. As he approaches the victims with his calm and collected demeanor it's hard not to be blown away by his performance. His performance really hits its peak with the final victim during the chase scene. Between his performance and the perfect setting for this sequence it easily lands its spot as one of the best finales to ever grace the screen in horror history. The acting all around in The Centerfold Girls is pretty solid but as usual during this era Prine steals the spotlight.

The Centerfold Girls is the perfect example of the straight up mean spirited, nasty films the exploitation circuit was churning out in the 70's. The film plods along with no intention of letting even the slightest moment of being apologetic slip. This kind of grit and grime is something we don't see often in the horror films of this day and age. This is without a doubt an essential piece of trashy exploitation that should hold a spot in any horror fans collection. Given the films release date it could also be considered one of the earliest slashers. If any readers out there haven't seen this film and are into the more gritty, mean serial killer/slasher flicks it is HIGHLY recommended that you pick this up. GET IT.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dry Bones Review

"To Survive the Night, Don't Look Under the Bed!"

Dry Bones is a new horror comedy directed by Greg Lamberson and Michael O'Hear. Many of you may be familiar with Gregory Lamberson from the legendary Slime City series. The film sports a pretty nice B-movie cast featuring Debbie Rochon and Michael O'Hear. When Drew was a child he was haunted by a monster living underneath his bed. He would bug his abusive father and pushover mother constantly throughout the night. One day his dad arrives in the room and locks the door to give Drew a good ol' fashioned ass whoopin' only to discover that the monster Drew speaks of is real. It's too late for Drew's father as we watch him get sucked under the bed and sucked dry down to the bone!

Years later Drew is back in town to fix up and sell his childhood home. After years of psychiatrists doping him up and telling him it was all his imagination Drew is all too comfortable with the idea. It's not until a few nights of staying in the house that he comes to the realization that this couldn't be further from the truth. All hell breaks loose when Drew discovers that it is a succubus that is living beneath the bed. The succubus begins sucking anyone dry that steps foot it Drew's house and it's beginning to seem like he's the prime suspect for all the missing people. 

The acting in Dry Bones is actually pretty damn good for low budget fare. This really helps out the comedy bits sprinkled throughout the film. The bit concerning how popular Drew's sister is around town never gets old. Even the locksmith wants a piece of that! Given Lamberson's history with the Slime City flicks most fans would expect this film to be loaded down with goo. Surprisingly this is not the case with Dry Bones. The film is actually a very funny, enjoyable romp on classic 80's horror flicks. There is little blood or goo to be found here but plenty of fun nonetheless. That being said there is one particularly great scene involving breast milk that would have Takashi Miike's mouth watering without a doubt. The creature effects on the succubus are top notch in that great old school campy way. 

Overall Dry Bones is a damn fine time for those into low budget horror. There's really nothing to complain about with this one. I'm sure plenty would argue that the film could use some more gore but it honestly functions just as well without it. This is perfect proof that Lamberson hasn't lost his touch with the horror genre. Luckily for us fans it is also appears that he has two other features in the works (one armed with the classy title "Killer Rack"). So any of you who have been down about the state of horror lately, just know there is a pair of murderous boobs headed your way to save the day. I'd say horror fans should give this one a watch. Especially those of you big on the classic tongue in cheek horror of the 80's. GET IT.