Tag Archives: Canuck

2015 Halloween Spectacular Part 2: Zombie Nightmare

zombie-nightmareZOMBIE NIGHTMARE

1.5 Stars  1987/80m

Director: Jack Bravman / Writer: David Wellington / Cast: Adam West, Frank Dietz, John Mikl Thor, Manuska Rigaud, Shawn Levy, Tia Carrere, Allan Fisher, Hamish McEwen, Manon E. Turbide, Linda Singer.

Body Count: 10

Laughter Lines: “I’m old enough to be your older sister.”


And I wanted my 666th slasher movie to special! Kinda got what I wished for.

Serving as a kind of resume urban legend for some of the big names involved, Zombie Nightmare‘s IMDb rating of 2.2 (up from around 1.8 and a place in Bottom 100) provides a fairly accurate reflection of what to expect…

BUT… bad movie lovers amongst us will enjoy this veritable feast of How Not To Make A Good Movie, from drastic changes in hair, clothes, and even actors mid-scene.

I would reckon zombie movie fans have picked up this one excitedly in the past, only to painfully discover that, title aside, and just like Zombie Island Massacre, this ain’t nothin’ but a punk ass slasher movie.

zn5Anyway, after a baseball game, the Washington family walk home, and big dad Bill tries to help a young girl being harassed by two punk ass teen, uh, punks. For his trouble, he gets himself stabbed in front of wife and young son.

Years later, young son has grown up into be-mulleted hunk Tony (Thor, of the band Thor), all round great guy, who looks after mom and is nice to all, or so we assume from his few minutes of screen time. Tony is sent to fetch groceries from the couldn’t-be-more-stereotypical Italian shopkeep, who is later referred to as Hank Peters (!). During his errand, more punk ass punks attempt to rob the store (Hank gasps “Mamma Mia!”) and Tony beats up their punk asses but is then run over by yet another group of punk ass teen punks, who just drive away. They have no collective remorse, with the guy at the wheel even saying he got a buzz from it.

zn3Shopkeep takes Tony’s body to his mom’s house and then suggests they call the police, but she has better ideas, calling in a favour from local Haitian Voodoo Priestess Molly Mokembe, who can resurrect Tony in zombie form long enough for him to seek revenge on those responsible.

So it goes, the quintet of teens are hunted down by the hulking zombie, initially sporting the same mullet but later cropped down to sensible Ken-doll hair, while he breaks necks, impales with baseball bats, or just smashes skulls into walls n’ shit. Curiously, the nasty teen most responsible – big blown out, feathered hair – goes fairly early on, leaving Tia Carrere and boyfriend to be stalked to the last.

Tony: Before and after

Tony: Before and after

As if this weren’t awesome enough ingredients for the best film y’ever saw, halfway through Adam freakin’ West turns up as the police captain, whose detective (Dietz) is hot on the trail of the killer. The murders are somehow being reported as drug-infused suicides. Of a victim, the Captain says: “He ran with a bad crowd… Running red lights, getting drunk, smoking marijuana – you know the usual bad stuff.” Yeah sounds like an epidemic.

Tony eventually rids the world of the punk ass teen punks and is free to rest in peace, but not before Zombie Nightmare plays its ace card: Adam West is one the punk ass punks who killed his dad!

zn-westBut, hey, wait a sec… The M.E. says that an earlier victim was aged around 43, whereas West was pushing 60 in 1987 – and how many years were supposed to have passed between Tony’s dad being murdered (by “teens”) and Tony being grown up? 10? 20?? 30???

Nothing really makes a lot of sense in Zombie Nightmare. At one point, things just grind to halt so we can watch two people play tennis for several minutes. But at least there’s pre-Wayne’s World Tia Carrere as one of the teens, and the ringleader was played by Shawn Levy, who went on to direct the Night at the Museum films along with numerous other Hollywood titles, whereas Zombie Nightmare‘s director, Jack Bravman, later gave us the even worse Night of the Dribbler.

  • Elsewhere, why does the priestess talk like a sheep singing a Belinda Carlisle song?
  • Why does Zombie-Tony look like he’s doing interpretive dance in the final scene?
  • Why does a near rape victim think that saying: “I’ve had enough of your childish sexual advances – go away!” would ever work?
  • Who is the hero in this film, seriously? Zombie Tony? The detective?

zn4The thrash metal soundtrack, with songs from Motorhead, Thor (of course) and a load of other bands I’ve never heard of, seems to be where the budget went. Come for the music, stay for the hair and the comedy.

Honor and obey

possession-vhs

POSSESSION: UNTIL DEATH DO YOU PART

1 Stars  1987/93m

Directors: Lloyd A. Simandl & Michael Mazo / Writers: Lyne J. Grantham & Lloyd A. Simandl / Cast: John Robert Johnston, Melissa Martin, Cat Williams, Leanne Jaheny, Samra Wolfin, April Alkins, Geraldine Farrell, Monica Marko, Rupert Grant, Shane Carlsson.

Body Count: 14

Laughter Lines: “There won’t be anybody up there – we’ll be ALL. BY. OURSELVES.”


Irredeemably boring T&A fare, notable only for starring the bitchy girl, Tamara, from Jason Takes Manhattan as the final girl.

She, Madeline (Sharlene Martin, credited here as Melissa), is abducted one night by a whiny-voiced, mother-fixated loon, Frankie, who takes girls home, forces them to dress in Mom’s clothes, and, if they’re not ‘nice’ enough, are murdered.

Madeline succeeds in escaping, but the police are almost completely apathetic, and it’s her gang of indistinguishably cloney gal-pals who suggest driving around to look for the guy, whom they run into almost straight away. Ill-prepared for this venture, they flee, cops intervene, Frankie escapes in a rowing boat WHICH EXPLODES WHEN SHOT AT.

An exploding wooden rowing boat.

Shortly thereafter, the girls – who might be escorts, it was unclear – go to a strip club and arrange for a couple of the suspiciously camp dancers to join them up at so-and-so’s uncle’s cabin in the woods for a bachelorette party.

Acting, hair, and fashion choices - about the only things you'll remember from Possession

Bad acting, hair, and fashion choices – about the only things you’ll remember from Possession

Predictably, Frankie ain’t dead and soon comes looking for Madeline once again, offing a couple of her friends who didn’t go on the trip, but hangs around long enough to hear an answerphone message that conveniently gives the full address of the cabin. Lord.

The girls party, make out with the gay strippers, Frankie comes along. That’s about all you need to know. It’s bodaciously unexciting, replete with clichés so dense you’d need a Humvee to plough through them: One girl goes off on her own to photograph trees! The car won’t start. The girl who had a bath conveniently never pulled the plug so the killer can drown her in it. It doesn’t stop.

Even when the killer’s presence is discovered, the last girls standing abandon the comparable fortitude of the cabin (which has a push-bar door!?) to run into the woods, where the killer, disabled by a speargun arrow while they flee, somehow teleports in front of them to jump out from behind a tree, and so they run BACK to the fucking cabin where there’s a gun!

Said woods are mysterious and wild, we know this because every time a character walks through them pan pipe music plays. This might mean something if the killer were a Native American rather than a camp-voiced suburban mama’s boy.

poss2

Brimming over with protracted T&A scenes that go thusly: Girl has shower, girl lathers up own boobs for ages, girl dresses up in kinky clothes, girl is stabbed >>> Girl has bath, girl washes self, girl dresses and paints own nails, girl is drowned in bath she never bothered emptying >>> Girl has shower, girl soaps up boobs, girl’s throat is cut in shower. Somebody somewhere does not want women to exercise good hygiene, or worse, has some real issues with their gender, note when one young woman talks about a guy she met and her friend replies: “You were in a BAR?” Why the hell not? She’s young and vivacious, should she only be allowed in the kitchen or the convent?

A plodding, dullard of a feature with absolutely nothing to recommend it unless pastel fashions, awful hair, and naked chicks in the shower is enough. With fourteen bodies dropped, there’s hardly even any grue to speak of.

This is a film nobody need possess.

Blurb-of-interest: Director Simandl also helmed the equally barren Ripper 2: Letters from Within.

Lies! So many lies!

NIGHT OF THE DRIBBLER

1 Stars  1990/88m

Director: Jack Bravman / Writer: Maurice Thevenet / Cast: Fred Travalena, Gregory Calpakis, Flavia Carrozzi, Bill Saddler, Cynthia Mantel, Michael Sullivan, Glenn Scott, Brigitte-Anne Pelletier, Georges Thomas.

Body Count: 2

Laughter Lines:  “Last time I saw faces like that was on the court 51 seconds ago.”


About as misleading as anything could be, this Canadian ‘comedy’ may look like it’s about a masked loon doing in basketball players, but this takes up about 8% of the runtime. There’s a reason the film was not released in the US for almost twenty years.

Essentially a vehicle for late comedian Fred Travalena, he plays three roles: The basketball coach, a commentator named Dick Airhead, and the detective investigating attacks on the revolving captains of the Watergate High Plumbers – only two of which are fatal – a crappy team who haven’t won a game in decades.

Waterboy Stan wants a chance to play – is he the one is the basketball mask rigging equipment? Probably not. But who cares when the film is so exhaustively painful? Slasher parodies were already worn out by 1982 and Night of the Dribbler brings nothing to the table, earning that extra half-star for non-awful production values and maybe two jokes I quietly smirked at.

Blurb-of-shame: Bravman also directed the almost-as-bad Zombie Nightmare.

VIP’s of Slasherdom: Wendy

While sometimes I wish I was a domestic pet, it’s pretty cool being a human, as a lot of humans are awesome, even those in cheap-ass slasher flicks.

Take Wendy, for instance, the Queen Bitch in Prom Night (played excellently by Eddie Benton/Anne Marie Martin), who stalks the halls of Hamilton High almost as aggressively as the film’s killer. Her mission: Destroy Kim Hammond! She’s pretty much Chris Hargensen (of Carrie) Mk. II.

“Oh, shut up!”

Missive: Humiliate prom king and queen Kim and (ex-boyfriend) Nick, ruining Prom Night for all! No buckets of pig-blood this time.

Attitude: BAD. Wendy tells a changing room full of classmates: “You’re all pathetic!” and plays hardball during a confrontation with good-girl Kim, uttering the infamous line used in all four original PN movies: “It’s not who you go with, it’s who takes you home.”

In her case, the coroner.

Why we love her: Her unrelenting thirst for nasty vengeance and her epic chase scene through the corridors of the school, where she almost out final girl’s Jamie Lee Curtis.

Wendy, though you died and in life were a pain in the ass, you are the first inductee to the VeVo VIP’s of Slasherdom hall of whatever.

Porn of the dead

EVIL BREED: THE LEGEND OF SAMHAIN

3 Stars  2003/18/78m

A.k.a. Samhain

“Evil roams the woods.” Director/Writer:

Christian Viel / Writer: William R. Mariani / Cast: Bobbie Phillips, Brandi-Ann Milbradt, Ginger Lynn Allen, Jenna Jameson, Chasey Lain, Richard Grieco, Howard Rosenstein, Phil Price, Gillian Leigh, Heidi Hawkins, Neil Napier.

Body Count: 13

Laughter Lines: “If you leave, you’ll disappear just like every other B-movie character does.”


Production problems plagued this Canadian gorefest, originally titled the pitheir Samhain before much of it was re-shot without the director’s input and reportedly the final cut is a far cry from the original vision.

Stocked with porn industry heavyweights, the first half of Evil Breed is surprisingly decent, rekindling a particular Friday the 13th vibe, with a group of horny, over-aged teenagers in the Irish woods (studying druids or something) and getting offed by a family of not-so-mythical inbred primevals.

Chasey Lain and Richard Grieco are the first to go in the obligatory pre-credits slaughter – quite why so many North Americans are camping in Ireland at the same time is a mystery. Then it’s pretty much death after death for the remaining characters, including a neat knife-in-the-mouth and a decapitation-by-wire, but the sight of one poor schmuck getting his intestines ripped out through his ass is a bit of a stretch the mind is less willing to reach. Elsewhere, Jenna Jameson is gutted by one of the cannibals, who then attempts to chow down on one of her silicone implants!

Considering 13 seconds were scissored by the BBFC, there’s still a hell of a lot of gore on show, but a good half of the killings occur off camera, leaving a lot of unanswered questions, while the cobbled-together footage jumps all over trying to sustain the plot.

The nostalgic approach to the midriff earns this three stars.

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