Tag Archives: I want to die

C.R.U.D.

GRIM WEEKEND

1 Stars  2003/18/97m

A.k.a. S.I.C.K. Serial Insane Clown Killer

“Five people… One weekend… 12 miles from nowhere… Let the killing begin.”

Director/Writer: Bob Willems / Writer: Ken Hebert / Cast: Ken Hebert, Amanda Watson, Melissa Bale, Hank Fields, Chris Bruck.

Body Count: 5

Laughter Lines: “I guess I’m not used to being trapped in a secluded house with a fucking psychopath!”


Grim is a fitting moniker for this staggeringly bad made for TV slasher, which pits four city yuppies and a nubile hitchhiker (who looks like Rebecca Gayheart) against a clown-masked axeman stalking the woods by the country residence one of them owns.

Formerly repressed memories of Camp Blood flood back thanks to the cheap shot-on-video production values, crappy acting and the fact that absolutely nothing happens for a solid hour after the hazy opening kill. One person vanishes and so the others go looking for her, split up despite the creepy-ass dolls they keep finding amongst the trees, and the husband of said vanishee consents to sex with the horny hitcher instead of looking for his spouse!

It’s hard to believe that films this bad are still made, let alone unleashed on the shelves of video stores. The dialogue consists mainly of ‘shut the fuck up, bitch’, repeated arguments over who might be behind it, as well as name-checking Scream and Friday the 13th during the same-old-same-old campfire story.

The film long outstays its welcome and grinds ever closer to the 100 minute mark before the repugnant conclusion and an equally cruddy ‘twist’ that sets things up for a sequel – if anybody is stupid enough to write to the producers praising them on a job well done. Abysmal in every way a film could be.

Devil in disguise

HACK-O-LANTERN

1.5 Stars  1987/18/84m

A.k.a. Halloween Night; The Damning; Death Mask

Director: Jag Mundhra / Writers: Burford Hauser & Carla Robinson / Cast: Hy Pyke, Katina Garner, Gregory Scott Cummins, Carla Baron, Jeff Brown, Patricia Christie, Larry Coven, Angel Rush.

Body Count: 7

Laughter Lines: “Ever since my dad died on Halloween night, this day seems to really affect [my Mom].”


I diagnose this one with G.E.S. – Genre Embarrassment Syndrome. The production team appear to have done their best to eclipse their assembly-line slashfest with a cheesy Satanic foreground.

Though filmed in The Year That Fashion Forgot (1987), it appears events are set in 1981, thirteen years after local fellow Bill Drindle was murdered by a local group of devil worshippers headed up by the victim’s father-in-law, who is obsessed with grandson, Tommy.

Skipping back to ‘the present’, young Tommy is now a troubled, Satan-worshipping twentysomething. His younger siblings, a deputy and teen party girl respectively, and dear old Mom, a fretful figure who worries the remains of her family are disintegrating, are concerned for him.

As in My Bloody Valentine, the town’s youth folk are readying themselves for a large Halloween party, while gravelly-voiced Grandpa wangs on about ‘Tommy’s Big Night’.

This all equates to a (slowly) rising body count as teenagers affiliated to the Drindle family begin falling victim to cloak-clad loon who wields a giant hooked fork: One guy gets a good spade in the skull, but the other slayings are textbook standard with little in the way of innovation.

Come the dance hall finale, the killer’s identity is blazingly obvious, along with their motive. We’ve all seen enough of these to know the Devil sect is just a ruse and it will have nothing to do with anything, surprising nobody, cast included!

There’s some really strange filler on parade here, with a music video nightmare that goes on forever and a very odd stand-up comedy routine crowbarred in halfway through: The jokes suck and the comedian doesn’t get a rake to the face as hoped.

Little to recommend beyond the awesome title and good outfit for the maniac. Stick with the definitive Halloween slasher.

Blurbs-of-interest: Mundhra directed the equally unexceptional Open House. Gregory Scott Cummins was also in Phantom of the Mall.

Brave the storm

MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE

1 Stars  1983/18/96m

“Please do not disturb Evelyn… she already is.”

Director: Jim McCullough / Writer: Jim McCullough Jr. / Bill Thurman, Anna Chappell, Will Mitchell, Virginia Loridans, Major Brock, James Bradford, Amy Hill, Marian Jones, Greg Brazzel.

Body Count: 7


Ironic that the wooden cabins of the title location show more promise as solid performers than any of the dreadful people gathered together in this annoying B-movie, yet another pants copy of Friday the 13th, with a psychotic woman (who looks about as dangerous as any nan) offing a group of nobodies who happened by her shoddy clutch of cabins, that make the Bates Motel look like the Sheraton.

Amongst the dopey travellers are a couple of redneck newlyweds, a carpenter, and an ad man who’s convinced the two stranded wannabe-starlets he’s picked up that he represents Columbia Records. Not with that hair.

Unfortunately for them (and us forced to sit through the ‘character building’ slab of film) the Motel owner Evelyn has only just been released from an institute and scythed her daughter when she caught her trying to communicate with Daddy.

Evelyn releases snakes, rats, and cockroaches into the cabins using a series of interlinking tunnels beneath the place. When these little surprises fail to drive everyone away she takes to attacking them with her handy sickle in repetitive and routine murders. The travellers become aware of what’s going on and strike back – well actually they completely fail and have to wait for the local sheriff, who doesn’t really save the day either.

The one solitary thing going for it (besides the amusing artwork) is that the budget was obviously so low that it lends a rather nightmarish quality to the goings-on, but other than that it’s no surprise to learn that it was shelved for three years before release.

Shitty Sequels IV: Shit Floats

SYT – Shitty Young Thing. Shitty in Pink. Sex and the Shitty… There are too many puns.

Last time – here, here, and here – the shittiest of shitty sequels were named and shamed for all to mock. Or protest in the name of. Or avoid. Whatever. Now, we’re back again, but will it be the end? Will the sequels ever be stopped!?

No.

Boogeyman 3 (2008)

First up is an odd one, for the original Boogeyman - barely a slasher film, barely a HORROR film when you think about it – was dire. Really, really bad. The stuff of CG-coated nightmares. Then came that sequel and almost everything about it was right. Thus, high(ish) hopes were set on the third outing, in which the Boogeyman invades a college dorm and the hysteria created by the deaths of collegiate teens amplifies his presence blah blah… Nice idea, cheap ass outcome. One of those films where hardly anything occurs outside of the studio set, so it’s rendered boring as hell. Miles ahead of the original, but this is one college course it will surely flunk.

*

 ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011)

Tie this one with The Collection for heinous back-pedaling and re-branding, as the straight up killer-chases-girl shenanigans of the entertaining first film are tossed aft and replaced with some franchise-hungry conspiracy of bloodthirsty rich people nonsense that was already done and dusted in Hostel. And Turistas. And Paintball. And any number of other films where those wish means pay to watch young hotties cut up for their perverse pleasure. Danielle Harris’ cameo and a couple of familiar faces notwithstanding, just an ugly, depressing outing.

*

Wrong Turn 5 (2012)

Wrong Turn 3 featured on an earlier edition of Shitty Sequels; the fourth film was a marginal improvement and I guess we all naively hoped that with the announcement of a sequel-to-the-prequel would continue to claw back the credibility of the original 2003 film.

No. Wrong Turn 5 makes the Child’s Play franchise look like a mature observation of a childhood disrupted by unfortunate external circumstances. Ludicrous situations, film sets that resemble dolls’ houses, high-pitched giggling killers, Pinhead! Just get a SatNav.

*

The Graveyard (2006)

Unofficially, the third film in the Bloody Murder ‘series’, this one starts anew to some degree, with a past-event trauma that sees Puck from Glee impaled on a rusty piece of railing. X years later, the surviving friends reunite at Camp Placid Pines where they are picked off one by one by a vengeful killer.

As with Boogeyman, this was a ‘series’ where the first one sucked harder than a meth-starved hooker, but was saved in part by a vastly superior and fun sequel, only for it all to go to shit all over again with this inspid third, and so far final, entry. Bury it and salt the ground so it can never grow back.

*

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

And we save the most laughable  for last… News that Kim Henkel was going to breathe life back into his keepsake series was met with hope. Hope that was dashed, and then sawn to pieces by the arrival of this truly horrific excuse for a reboot, that incorporates apparent time-travel, characters who fail to age, blink-quick empathy, and no trace of irony as characters make all the mistakes we thought they’d quit making back in 1988.

 

 

President’s Day

hhoh5aHORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY FIVE

1 Stars  1985/88m

“They were young and in love. He was crazy. She was dead.”

Director/Writer: Richard Casey / Cast: Phil Therrien, Gina Christiansen, Max Manthey, Irene F, Michael Castagnolia, Ronald Reagan.

Body Count: 8

Laughter Lines: “I think I know a secluded place where you can complete your project.”


1985 was a sucky year in horror from the casual observer’s perspective: Elm Street 2 (I like it!)… Friday the 13th Part V (I like it!)… But all those people who bitch about Friday 5 should be forced to sit and watch Highway 5.

As a viewing experience, it seldom gets any weirder than Horror House on Highway Five – which was actually shot in 1983 – that trying to explain what fragments of a story there is could prove entirely redundant, but here goes…

  • A man and a woman in a house are murdered by a loon wearing a Richard Nixon mask. This takes approximately forever. But the woman makes some amazing faces in the mirror before she bites it.

hhoh5-face2

  • A teacher assigns three students a project about the V2 rocket. Louise and Mike will go and make a model rocket, Sally will “do interviews”.
  • Sally is kidnapped by the bizarre duo of Dr Marbuse and his dim-witted assistant/friend Gary.
  • Mike and Louise find a dead cat and a dead body but don’t seem to care much.
  • A couple in a car run over the Richard Nixon loon; the guy dies in the accident, the chick runs off and finds the house where Sally is being held and is snatched away by Dr Marbuse.
  • Mike then goes to the same house and is slashed to death by a seemingly invisible force. The killer then goes after Louise, who also ends up back at the house, tries and fails to save Sally, is chased by Marbuse, the Richard Nixon loon, fires the rocket, and makes it to the freeway in daylight.

hhoh5-killer2

What the intentions of Horror House are remain a mystery. It’s got some Plan 49-style crap appeal in parts, but the 88 minutes feel more like 188, it’s difficult to tell what’s happening on screen and whomever was tasked with providing the cello music for ‘tense’ moments might’ve bothered to learn some notes first. Is it a joke? It it serious? Shot at the height of the American irony crisis of the mid-80s, it’s hard to call.

As an LSD experiment, it could prove to make for interesting watching but barely ticks any slasher movie boxes anyway. You’ll certainly be left with a lot of questions. But rather than regurgitate what those might be, here’s some additional Laughter Lines, neither of which can do justice to how bad they are delivered:

  • “Sure is nice out here. Not many houses though. Oh, look there’s a house. And there’s another house.”
  • “What’s wrong with you? You just ran that guy over. You must have a low IQ.”

Wardrobe choices are vile, with Louise (above) spending most the film in white dungarees. That hat sadly landed on her head only for this scene and then flew away for good. For a “teenager”, Mike has a big receding hairline. On occasion, there’s absolutely no dialogue or screaming where there perhaps should be.

Completists and fans of psychotronic, drug-fucked mind-trips are probably the only recommended audiences. Everyone else – scratch that – EVERYONE should stay clear.

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