Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Headless is a 2015 shocker directed by Arthur Cullipher. The film is a full-length feature expansion on the movie within a movie shown in the 2012 epic Found. Found was one of my personal favorite indie films over the past few years. The way the buildup evolved it, from a drama to a full blown horror in its finale, was near perfect. The flick had a tone that, in a way, took me back to Toetag's opus Sella Turcica. Having enjoyed Found so much, I was pretty excited to see that this was being made. With that being said, fans of the previous film should be fully aware that Headless is a completely different beast in terms of execution and tone. It should also be noted that Headless is based in 1978. Headless is one of the few throwback horror romps that doesn't go too overboard with all of the scratching/cigarette burn effects. They pop up every now and then, but don't pop up enough to get on the viewers nerves.

The film kicks off with a shot of the original footage from Found. Followed with a nice little montage of gore to introduce us to the Headless killer. Little time is wasted before the audience gets their chance to dive into what the daily routine is for a tortured soul who loves to fuck skulls. The hulking killer is "guided" by his young companion Skullboy, his silent, mysterious entity that keeps his madness going. Headless also has a bit of backstory to show how the killer became such a sick bastard. He was kept in a cage throughout his childhood by his abusive mother. His sister and mother spent a lot of their free time letting him know how sick he was. He was subjected to a diet that consisted of rabbit heads and his sisters urine. After a while, Skullboy creeps into his life, and a seed of vengeance is planted within him. Years of this torture and humiliation go by, and his sister opens the cage so her brother can "play" with her. Little does she know he would much rather use his newfound freedom to play with just her eyeball in particular.

We bounce back and forth between watching the killer's deeds and getting to know his future victims. Jess is a young, hard working woman struggling to pay the bills, while her boyfriend, Pete, lounges at the house smoking joints with his "band" The Dead Bugs. She is holding onto the relationship in hopes that he will finally grow up and get a job. She won't have much time to find out whether that was ever in the cards or not. The killer makes his way to the roller rink and sets his sights on everyone she knows and loves.

GORE GALORE! This flick is loaded with one nice effect after another. Eye removals, skull-shagging, de-limbing, it's all here, plus more. The best moment in the movie is when we get to go down into the killer's pit of corpses. That was a great setting, and you wouldn't have caught me complaining if there was a bit more of it. Gorehounds will most definitely find their fix here, although I could see fans of Found having a problem with the movie feeling a bit more like an effects reel than anything else. Sure, Headless isn't exactly flooding over the brim with plot, but neither were many of my favorite films of the 70's, so naturally, I don't have a problem with it. The story doesn't call for the drama buildup that was present in Found, and if it went that route it simply wouldn't have worked as well.

Overall Headless is a pretty damn good modern day exploitation flick! It's one of the few that doesn't feel the need to constantly wink at the audience. For that, along with it's random tendency to spiral into strange, psychedelic sequences, I can do nothing but applaud everyone involved in the making of this. The movie isn't perfect, but it delivers what I wanted from it. I'm off to continue the skull-humping madness with Header. GET IT!

Sunday, March 1, 2015



Catacombs is a supernatural slasher flick from 2000 directed by Todd Sheets. This was one of the last films Sheets directed before taking a long hiatus from horror filmmaking. Kansas City has had a long reputation for having some of the best haunted houses the US has to offer and this film was set in one of them that shares the same name. The movie offers up a wide variety of things all horror fans love. Loaded with gore, atmosphere, intense lighting and just a dash of some classic blaxploitation goodness there's something here for everyone to enjoy.

Catacombs follows a group of horror fans that get summoned to a fear study at the world famous Catacombs haunted house. We get a pretty diverse cast of characters to watch get brutalized. Personal favorites of mine include a wannabe thug who will go Columbine on yo ass if you deprive him of his blunts, and of course, the loud mouthed horror fanatic who writes scripts for Troma. As a surprise for the participants the dynamic duo Mack Brazzle and Durville Sweet come into the fold as well. The conductor of the study splits them up into small groups and sends them into the haunted house to roam around. It is quickly revealed that they are not alone in the building. There's a silent killer in a white mask lurking in the darkness just waiting to shed the blood of whoever crosses his path.

As the group begins to drop like flies everyone begins to wonder whether something serious is happening or the study was just rigged to scare the living hell out of them. Unfortunately for them this is much more than just a cruel joke and nobody is safe in the Catacombs. Once the killer reveals his true motive the stakes raise with a demonic force coming into play. Our white masked killer is merely a servant to a demon that needs souls to feed on. Now the remainder of the group is forced to battle not only with the crazed maniac but also his legion of forces from the beyond. The epic battle ensues with some of those classic kung-fu kicks from Durville Sweet, but will the group be able to overcome the onslaught of the occult powers that be?

This flick is loaded with awesome death scenes. My personal favorite would have to be the nod to Fulci's City of the Living Dead. We get a double death here featuring some good old fashioned gut regurgitation and a press drill making it's way through a skull. There's also plenty more where that came from for all you splatter fans out there. For each gore shot seen you'll be happy to know that there's another one just as disgusting right around the corner. On top of all the gore we also get some pretty solid CGI effects. Sheets is one of the first shoestring budget directors that comes to mind to use effects like these in his films.

Overall Catacombs is a fun low budget slasher. There have been many flicks over the years that take place in haunted houses and the result isn't always satisfactory. That being said when Sheets sets something there it is always a recipe for greatness. The setting of Catacombs gives a naturally eerie atmosphere. The lighting is perfect, along with the set pieces and even the entrance to the building. What more could you ask for? The moment they step through that entrance the tone changes completely. Highly recommend this one to those into low budget horror. I've been on the search for it for years and it definitely didn't disappoint! GET IT!