Post by Mike Morbid on Jul 2, 2017 17:59:22 GMT -5
Good evening. Many of you who are reading this likely know who I am, but I’ll introduce myself to those who don’t. I am Mike Morbid, and I am a twisted freak who has a lifelong obsession with horror. Since I also fancy myself to be a writer, I figured I might as well scribe a weekly column for both of you who are still reading this. Thus, here we are, in the Friday Frightmare.
A few months ago I invested in a year long subscription to Screambox. It is a horror streaming service, similar to Netflix but more appealing to someone with my twisted tastes. A few days ago I realized that I have been neglecting it far too much. Therefore, tonight I will be reviewing a trio of boxed screams. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Night of the Living Dead 2010 (movie from 1968)
Gather round, kids, and I’ll regale you with a tale from the glory gory days, the eighties. The masses were calling out for a symbol for the horror genre. We sent a bat signal into the sky (no, not that bat signal), in hopes of finding someone who could champion our genre. A dark shape emerged from the gloom, and the world was introduced to Elvira. She was gorgeous, risque and campy, and the horror world basked in her presence. Especially the young males. She hosted Elvira’s Movie Macabre for the better part of the decade, and had her own movie before the eighties were over.
Almost 25 years later, in 2010, the Mistress of Darkness returned, and appeared to be as ageless as many of the creatures in the features she hosted. Her humour had matured a bit, but she was still the same lethal lass we were infatuated with back in the day. In her debut episode she hosted the classic that started the zombie craze, The Night of the Living Dead.
You young ghouls might not be impressed with a black and white movie where people aren’t getting face squished every couple of minutes, but back in the day this movie scared a lot of people. It might have been due to the fears and uncertainties of that time, or perhaps the thought of your departed loved ones coming back to chew on your neck or nibble on your intestines.
There isn’t a lot of action in this flick, it relies on atmosphere and tension to set the mood. There are seven people trapped in this farmhouse, and they have different opinions on how to deal with the flesh eaters on the other side of the walls. They don’t know why the dead are coming back to life (this is one thing I really like, they don’t waste time disputing what is happening). There is a vehicle outside, but it is out of gas, leaving this avenue of escape just out of their grasp. They have boarded up the doors and windows, but they know that a concentrated effort from the zombies would smash through the barricades. They could take refuge in the more secure cellar, but if the zombies did manage to break through that barrier there would be no possibility of escape. No matter what decision they make, it could be a mistake that will cost them all their lives.
Of course, this being a hosted movie, Elvira makes her presence known from time to time, such as when she mocks the increasingly unhinged Barbara. After a while, part of the fun of the show is trying to guess which parts of the movie will earn some of her sarcastic remarks. For the non-jaded people watching this movie who are peering through the folds of a bunched-up blanket, her witticisms will be a welcome relief.
So, even though I’ve seen this movie a number of times, and watched more zombie movies than some people have seen movies, this was still an entertaining and nostalgic experience for me. It was good to see you again, Miss E, let’s do this again real soon.
When this movie was originally released, Reader’s Digest tried to discourage people from watching it, claiming that it would lead to actual cannibalism.
Here’s another trip down memory lane, if the lane leads to a horrible domicile where nasty things happen. This movie is sort of like riding on the Tilt-A-Whirl. It is all over the place, and you know from time to time it is going to give you a thrill, but you’re not sure exactly when. It is eccentric, often funny, and sometimes even a little frightening.
William Katt stars as Roger Cobb. He is not exactly having an enjoyable life. He had a traumatic tour of duty in Vietnam, his son went missing a few months back, and now he has been left a house that seems to be haunted, cursed and a portal to another realm. If it had come out thirty years later it would have inspired many memes, involving such things as TV remotes, racoons and being hit by little girls. There might even have been one about how sometimes it can be rather difficult to bury someone.
If you are familiar with eighties television you’ll likely be familiar with Katt and with two of his co-stars, George Wendt and Richard Moll. The latter is known for his role as the good-natured giant bailiff, but he is far from a nice guy in this movie as Big Ben, one of Cobbs squad in ‘Nam. Despite his menace though, he has one of the movies most sympathetic moments when we find out what happened to him in the jungles far from home.
While House is not the main event of a horror movie night, it would be great as part of the under card. It has a good mixture of comedy and horror that sets up the mood for the main attraction of your night.
The stunt coordinator for this film was Kane Hodder. If you don’t know who that is, hang your head in shame.
Laid To Rest 2009
Speaking of Kane Hodder (though if you hear me speaking this, you might want to get some help), this is just the sort of movie he would have been in 25 years ago. It is about a young woman, whose name we don’t know, being hunted by a seemingly invincible killer. The action starts off after she has already had her first encounter with him. Princess, the nickname which will be given to her later, wakes up in a casket in the morgue. She doesn’t know who she is or where she is, and even lacks some basic knowledge such as names of common items.
The first few minutes are disjointed and confusing, but that is likely a stylistic nod to the head trauma Princess has suffered. Things settle down before long, and for the rest of the running time we get a well done cat and mouse slasher. We learn just enough about the important characters to make them sympathetic, without unneeded back story that slows down the movie.
Of the villain we learn little, but he has presence. He is distinctive with his chrome skull mask and shoulder-mounted camera for filming his homicidal efforts. He does have the cliched ability to always know the whereabouts of his targets and be there within minutes, but that is a forgivable offence that is often needed in slasher movies. Otherwise, most of them would end in a few minutes when the people run away and escape.
“But enough of that, Morbid,” you may be saying. “What I want to know is if he kills people real good.”
Well, hypothetical questioner, the answer is a blood soaked yes. Heads are sawed off, blown off, punctured and exploded due to overfilling. Chromey takes real pride in his work. At least once he lets a victim go because the circumstance of their death wouldn’t be satisfying enough for him. Along the way, there are the obligatory slashings, stabbing, eye gougings and disembowelings. If you want gore, you should be happy with Laid To Rest.
The lead actress, Bobbi Sue Luther, is not often in horror movies, but she was in the remake of Night of the Demons.
Now then, I can’t slip into the shadows without first giving you slavering horror fans a suggestion on something to watch this weekend. This time, I would recommend Demons (1985), in which the always enchanting Geretta Geretta shows that ladies are quite capable of carnage with a side of murderdeathkill. This Italian horror movie is set in a theatre, where the patrons are trapped with a growing number of denizens of the underworld. Don’t forget to pack your barf bag.
Farewell for now, and thanks for making it this far. Provided I don’t have a mishap with a sunny day or a silver bullet, I’ll see you next week.
I'm just here for the fear. If you use Twitter, I gladly accept follows, and usually follow back.
you went for the campy stuff, nice. though notld on it's own isn't campy. i really have to be in the mood for camp though. i can't even remember the last time i went to camp. i have the funhouse calling my name - directed by tobe hooper
good reviews. house is the cake. if that cake had been sitting out in the sun for too long and started to grow bigger than it actually is. i think i'm not sure how to feel about house. what does everybody else think about it?
It's one of my favorites from the time, but I was also pretty young when I first saw it, so there's some sentimental value there. Loved House 2 as well, and a lot of people hate it. Meh, just did it for me.
yeah i own both of them and i don't hate them. there's just something strange about how it is presented. can't put my finger on it. it's almost like it's not even classified as horror. there's so many things going on in the film.