Author Archives: Hud

Ain’t nothin’ like the reality thing

killermovieKILLER MOVIE

3.5 Stars  2008/93m

“Fear reality.”

Director/Writer: Jeff Fisher / Cast: Paul Wesley, Kaley Cuoco, Gloria Votsis, Jason London, Cyia Batten, Al Santos, Adriana DeMeo, Torrey DeVitto, Robert Buckley, Nestor Carbonell, Hal B. Klein, Andy Fischer-Price, Maitland McDonnell, Leighton Meester, Stephen Pelinski, Bruce Bohne, J.C. Chasez.

Body Count: 11

Dire-logue: “A woodshop is a dangerous place…these things just sometimes happen.”

A TV crew are making a documentary about a hockey team who, after 100 years of failure, look set to make the state playoffs. When the director (JC Chasez from N Sync) is fired by bitchy producer Lee, recently out of work and dumped stand-in Jake is summoned by schmaltzy agent-to-the-stars Seaton (Nestor Carbonell, who plays the guy who never ages in Lost).

Jake is packed off to White Plains, North Dakota, with his dog Bongo to pick up where things were left, which coincides with the murder of a local girl, though as always is the case, the locals are told it’s just an accident. The kind of accident one has when driving a quad bike into a piece of wire suspended between two trees… Bitchy Lee informs Jake that the hockey show is just a front and that the real story is about the series of ‘accidents’ that plague the township. Dead chick’s dad has just been released from prison and is thus suspect number one.


Shot as the far better sounding Dead of Winter, Killer Movie functions differently to your usual slasher pic, using interviews with the crew members to fill in gaps rather than have them awkwardly acted out. This informs us that things are about to get worse with the arrival of Blanca Champion, a Hilton-like ‘actress’ – played by Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory - who wants to be taken seriously in her next role as a TV producer and so signs on as an assistant for the documentary. Meanwhile, bitchy Lee is seducing nubile PA Phoebe, the sound guy and Blanca’s male assistant are both lusting after her and Jake only finds sanity with Kier (can’t remember what her job was) and camera guy Luke.

There are a lot of characters to deal with, including some locals: dead chick’s boyfriend, who is the hockey team star, his dad, who doubles as the coach, a bimbo cheerleader, the bolshy cheerleading coach, some more crew members and finally the killer to trim the roster and make it easier to manage things.


Hooded and masked, the loon begins offing the crew – all the while making his own reality show – and some of the locals one by one, usually pretty gorelessly, although there’s a neat hand-loss moment and lots of bodies are found missing heads, with slashed throats et cetera. As numbers shrink, Jake and the smart ones become wise to what’s more than likely to be going on and try to round everyone up to escape, leaving ditzy Blanca alone at the school… “Come with us or stay here” / “both those choices suck!”

With a decent whodunit subplot, Killer Movie is, for the first two thirds, an engaging and well made film, with an emphasis on the authenticity of the production and stocking it with likeable characters (unless intentionally otherwise), marred only by Blanca’s comic relief, which is too off the wall to mesh well, especially when she faces off with the killer and also the pointless lesbianism, which is becoming annoyingly frequent – would they ever show two guys making out?

killer moviedead of winter

Things begin to fall to pieces once the fiend is unmasked: it took me several minutes to even recognise the schmuck and the motive provided made little to no sense when you think back to some of the earlier killings… This doesn’t ruin the film so much as it stops it becoming a hidden gem, which is a shame as it does so well for the most part. There’s some good dialogue, the stalking scenes are reminiscent of old Friday the 13th‘s and the soundtrack is well selected (especially Benjamin Bates’ credits song Two Flies.) Originally intended for a theatrical release, things fell through and it ended up going to DVD instead but uber-observant slasher connoisseurs should be able to pick out the many familiar faces as noted in the blurbs…

…of-interest: Kaley Cuoco was in The Hollow; Gloria Votsis was in Train; Cyia Batten was in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Al Santos was in Jeepers Creepers II; Torrey DeVitto was in I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer; Robert Buckley was in When a Killer Calls; Jason London was in Mask Maker.

Pant-Soiling Scenes #6: THE FOG

Many moons have passed since I first saw The Fog on TV in my naive teen years and I’ve watched it numerous times, wearing out two VHS copies before I upgraded to a spunky 2-disc DVD. The film still rules in almost every possible way and, more importantly, is still damn eerie.

John Carpenter always excelled at the unnerving stuff, Michael loitering behind objects in the foreground in Halloween etc., in The Fog he capitalises on this, with creepy shadows galore… But ’tis this scene that really had me chewing off my fingers (and if you know me, you’ll know what I mean) with tension.

It’s: the stuck-truck bit.


Pump it, Jamie, pump it!!! Uh, just slip it into first and- Why must driving instructions all sound so dirty!??

February Fracas: Hearts Will Bleed

One day I’m going to make a slasher movie calendar, which suggests films to watch on any given day. Naturally, there’ll be times in the year when killers aren’t up to much. August is looking good. But for the time being, here we are on February 13th, our hands forced by society to pick out over-priced pieces of folded card with a stupid message of “love” on the front of it.

Psshh! What can a card tell my beau that I can’t? You remind me of puppies and candy?

Anyway, for those of you who are crow-barred into feeling depressed at this time of year – whether or not you’re happily single, how else are your attached friends going to make you feel miserable and unloved – here are some personal ads to ease the pain. Choose carefully…

mbvName: Axel

Age: 29

Occupation: psychotic miner

Message: traditional sorta guy WLTM budding Canadian twentysomethings for heart-removal surgery with pick-axe in non-clinical surroundings. Leather/S&M interest helpful. Quirky SOH essential! Please bring own bodily organs and replacement arm.

Ideal Date: romantic stroll around the idyllic town of Valentine Bluffs, perhaps meander down into the old mines and see what action’s going on down deep.


xrayName: Harry

Age: 29

Occupation: phony doctor

Message: Hunky Israeli with a far out SOH WLTM unconvincingly naive childhood sweetheart for revenge scheme involving equally unconvincing urgent surgery requirements – all because of a screwed up Valentine’s card.

Ideal Date: we find the most under-populated hospital in Israel the “Continental United States” and see what fun can be had running around finding decapitated heads in candy boxes!


valentine-box-cover1Name: Jeremy Melton

Age: 9

Occupation: reformed school nerd

Message: I used to be a 70 pound weakling at Junior High, now I’m a six-foot plus uber-hunk of angelic proportions; sensitive yet masculine; slight drinking and nosebleed problem I’m working on.

Ideal Date: my heart really only belongs to Buffy Kate, but until we can be together I’ll send a nice card, turn up unexpectedly, sometimes with roses, sometimes with a powerdrill or a scalpel. Either way, we’ll have a good time!


mybloodyvalentine3dName: Tom Hanniger

Age: 1

Occupation: I’ve been “away”.

Message: VGL ex-miner with guilt-laden past seeks to hook-up with high school sweetheart again. Failing that, I’m happy to kill everyone around her until alternate choices are null and void.

Ideal Date: your new husband is dead; your childminder is dead; hell, you’re child might as well join that club. Then it’s just you and me…you and me…you and me and Harry Warden.


VeVo’s advice: stay single and be happy with it.

Every Loser Wins

fatalgames2FATAL GAMES

3.5 Stars  1983/18/81m

“The second prize is death.”

A.k.a. The Killing Touch / Olympic Nightmare

Director: Michael Elliot / Writers: Rafael Bunuel, Christopher Mankiewicz & Michael Eliot / Cast: Sally Kirkland, Lynn Banashek, Michael Elliot, Christopher Mankiewicz, Sean Masterson, Michael O’Leary, Teal Roberts, Marcelyn Ann Williams, Melissa Prophet, Angela Bennett, Nicholas Love, Lauretta Murphy, Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens.

Body Count: 6

Dire-logue: “I’m going to have to disqualify you…now!”

Here’s a javelin-tastic flick that’d be great on a double bill with Graduation Day. At an exclusive athletics training academy, a group of promising young Olympians – known as The Magnificent Seven – are threatened with extinction by a hooded maniac who tosses a mean javelin.

Amongst the array of convenient suspects are their strict coach, their steroid-prescribing doctor and the lesbian swimming coach, who’s involved with one of her proteges. Or it could be an envious ‘friend’? The sprintin’, tossin’, bar-spinnin’ teens are eliminated for good as they find themselves alone, usually working out or relaxing in the steam room afterwards – a fate which befalls one very unlucky young lady, who runs buck naked around the entire school trying to escape from the loon!

Points are lost for shaky editing, horrible incidental music, “uneven” performances and just a total lack of credibility – especially during the killer’s exposition, which is given away in most reviews of the film, robbing it of the actually-okay mystery element it trades on. As it turns out, I love the identity of the killer and how ludicrous the motive is.

Elliot’s direction is pedestrian but adequate, shooting some action from about three miles away from where’s it’s happening. But the killer is so accurate with the stick that he could skewer a teen from the other side of the Atlantic, yet the final girl (Annie) fleeing down a corridor proves more than a match.

Likeable characters, some funny humour and a general feeling of unrewarded effort don’t mean the film is as fatal as it’s largely made out to be. Yeah, it’s crap, but it’s lovable crap. Like a manky dog. Linnea and Brinke only appear in the background briefly.

Blurbs-of-interest: Sally Kirkland was later in Fingerprints and Jack the Reaper; Nicholas Love was in The Boogeyman. Marcelyn Ann Williams, under the name of Spice Williams-Crosby, was in Dead End Road.

“Pain can be fun.”


2 Stars  2008/18/91m

“You’re in for one hell of a ride.”

Director/Writer: Gideon Raff / Cast: Thora Birch, Gideon Emery, Kavan Reece, Derek Magyar, Gloria Votsis, Konya Ruseva, Valentin Ganev, Todd Jensen, Vladimir Vladiminov.

Body Count: 10

Dire-logue: “Screw you, you un-circumsized little fuck!”

Bored of torture porn? Sick of Hostel and Turistas? Me too! Let’s throw ‘em on the next train to Eastern Europe! Oh bugger, American college teen alert…

Train was originally slated to be a remake of Terror Train, with Thora Birch donning Jamie Lee Curtis’ role. Fortunately, the idea was derailed and the film became independent of such comparisons, bar the choo-choo setting. Thora is part of an American college wrestling team on a tour of Europe. In the unspecified country of their most recent match, she and four others sneak out to a party, thus missing their connecting train in the morning.


Their retentive coach is offered a ride on another train, which they merrily skip aboard. Something ain’t right about this loco though, which we soon learn is actually a sort of mobile donor clinic, taking people in need of black market operations out into the country and taking advantage of dopey lost tourists, who get sliced up carefully for some organ harvesting…

The conductor, a Bond-villain type lady doctor and some hulking goons are all in on it, picking off the kids one by one for some eyeball-plucking, spine-severing, penis-chopping and leg-hacking before carrying out the operations in the onboard clinic! Yes, there’ surgery taking place on a rickety ol’ train. We’re later expected to believe that the recipient of an eye-transplant could recover within a day!


Birch’s reluctant girl-wrestler Alex is predictably the last one standing and must try to save the day and herself, while her boyfriend, coaches and pals are cut up whilst still alive, save for the other girl, who is instead ‘given away’ as a bribe to some horny soldiers and, presumably, left in Europe to be repeatedly raped.

Hostel had some gross parts, which made me cringe. Part II upped the ante somewhat. Turistas was tamer, but a bit crap. Train trumps all three in terms of gruesome bloodletting: while the on-screen gore is carried out only against male characters, there were one or two moments where I looked away (…plus I was trying to eat a sandwich) and I actually placed my hands over my eyes at least once! It’s quite sick and pushes the boundaries of acceptable entertainment.


Fortunately, Alex’s revenge on the fiends is quite delicious, as she takes on towering goons and is challenged over her morals! Birch looks disinterested for the most part though, with little to do but sneak around and hide. Her co-stars’ roles pale by contrast as they fulfill their obligations as pieces of meat to be hacked up and defiled in other ways. The set of villains are interesting enough but you can’t help but feel that these films are sponsored by some stay-in-America tourism foundation. Maybe it has a mantra like; “leave our borders and you will DIE!!”

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