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!

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