Sad? You can use HULU like CALGON and tell it to take you away! You don’t even have to sign up or pay a dime, HULU has got plenty of freebies to enjoy. Take 2013’s COTTAGE COUNTRY for example. It features saucy and sensational FINAL GIRLS star MALIN AKERMAN and the lovely and glamorous TYLER LABINE of TUCKER AND DALE vs EVIL fame! Both those guys are hilarious if you ask me. I know comedy is subjective so I can’t guarantee you anything but what have you got to lose? This flick is about a couple who try to have a nice weekend but end up killing a bunch of folks instead. You know how that is. It kind of reminds me a bit of another beloved film, 1996’s THE LAST SUPPER. It’s got a similar sick sense of humor plus both films take place in a cozy location that is comfortable to hang out in anyway. Just press this word HERE and away you go!
November 15th, 2015 · No Comments
October 25th, 2015 · No Comments
I picked up a VHS copy of NORMAN J. WARREN’s TERROR a bunch o’ years ago and for some reason, I never gave it a spin. The other night I finally decided to dust it off and give it a looksee and just when it was starting to get good, the darn thing konked out and went on the fritz! I know that sounds tragic but don’t worry, there is a happy ending because that very same movie is contained on a compilation DVD I own from MILL CREEK called GOREHOUSE GREATS!
So I put the DVD in and instantly realized that I should have been watching it in the first place because the picture was all of the sudden sharp and lovely. Anyway, I just want to congratulate myself for learning the obvious lesson that sometimes VHS looks like crap and can’t be trusted even though I know I’m destined to forget that lesson within a few days.
Also let me say that TERROR (1978) is not such a great movie. I think it’s about a witch’s curse that ruins things for random people and there’s some possession business taking place but mostly I had little idea what was going on (although maybe I should blame my cough medicine for that). I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt anyway because I was never bored and it looked pretty. The general vibe is agreeable and the death scenes stand out. It’s like there’s about a half dozen really cool horror vignettes that, taken in separately, really work but when they’re strung together as a whole, they turn into a muddled mess. In fact, it left me thinking that if you just ripped out the annoyingly foggy plot, you’d be left with one awesome trailer and so I Googled that notion and yep, I was right, the trailer is fantastic…
But this is Sunday Streaming so I’m leaving you with the whole movie. Like I said, it doesn’t all make sense or gel together but if you enjoy late-seventies supernatural horror mixed with some slasher elements, it’s well worth checking out. There’s a stalking scene mid-way through (featuring the guy who played Chewy McWookie in STAR WARS) that doesn’t exactly pan out but is pretty nifty while it lasts and the climax, which apparently was inspired by the splashy, fluorescent visuals in SUSPIRIA is at least kind to your peepers even if it ends up feeling kind of detached and incidental. Oh, and there’s some funny bits in this flick too involving the making of a trashy movie and wait, wasn’t there a flying car too? Hmmm, maybe I liked it even better than I think I did. Yep, I guess so. It’s kinda the perfect thing to watch from bed when you are high on cold medicine.
October 18th, 2015 · No Comments
I have nothing very original to offer today BUT I don’t mind reminding you that if you neglect to watch THE PAUL LYNDE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL right about now you are doing this entire month wrong, more wrong and super wrong.
October 11th, 2015 · 3 Comments
Critter peeps, I’m happy to say we’ve got quite the Streaming bonanza today. Have you all heard about the PARAMOUNT VAULT channel (HERE) that just popped up on our beloved YouTube? It’s a brand new joint where you can watch a ton of great movies for the mere price of withstanding a few commercials!
I’m taking back every derogatory thing I’ve ever said about Paramount Pictures and officially forgiving them for not always treating the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise like the invaluable contribution to world of cinema it obviously is. Their new channel is the coolest and here’s hoping other folks are kind enough to follow suit.
As a lifelong movie lover who has shelled out every extra dollar that ever came my way to the industry, I’m getting pretty tired of being treated like a thieving flea-ridden freeloader every time I should happen to catch something for free online. I’m much more likely to purchase a movie once I’ve seen, enjoyed or at least been made aware of it! Movie viewing begets more movie viewing says me and frankly, fans deserve to be thrown a bone once in a while. Good on you PARAMOUNT!
Anyway, from what I’ve heard, the films on the channel will change form time to time so make sure you watch stuff while it’s there and that you check back for new titles. We’ll try to keep you up to date around these parts and here’s some currently available movies (links in titles) that I’d recommend….
THE LOVED ONES (2009)
I don’t think we covered this one enough around here because I caught it rather late but I’m pretty sure this disturbing gem from Australia showed up on a couple of our reader’s underrated lists. I’d certainly file it under “must see.”
You’d think director Mark Jones had done enough for humanity by gifting the world with LEPRECHAUN (1993) but nope, he went one step further and dropped this hilarious bad boy on our laps too. What a guy!
IN DREAMS (1999)
Sure it’s all kinds of flawed and nonsensical and it may be the only film in existence not helped in any way by a ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. performance but it’s fascinating nonetheless, and we all know director NEIL JORDAN rarely skimps on the arresting visuals.
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (1986)
I admit that I find the second half of this flick kind of dull but the first half terrifies the living crap out of me, so it’s all good. As a rule of thumb, you should just watch anything with the word “chainsaw” in the title anyway. Enjoy.
October 4th, 2015 · 1 Comment
Having RANDI ALLEN stop by the site this week had me remembering that I may have first viewed CATHY’S CURSE in the late eighties but the first time I ever heard mention of it was when I rented TERROR ON TAPE some years earlier. Are you guys familiar with the one and only TERROR ON TAPE? It’s the crazy compilation of clips from movies all of which happen to be on the long defunct CONTINENTAL label and it’s hosted by your pal and mine CAMERON MITCHELL! Can you imagine a better place to visit than a video shop that exclusively carries those old school giant box videos? Take some time out to watch TERROR ON TAPE today! It’s goofy and sleazy and it’s going to be released on DVD exactly never in my estimation and I’d say that’s more than appropriate and fine by me!
September 27th, 2015 · No Comments
In the autumn a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of watching THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (1985) on YouTube…
September 20th, 2015 · 2 Comments
When we first started doing “Sunday Streaming” posts years ago, it was all about picks you could find on Netflix Streaming. Then somewhere along the line I started worrying that not everybody had Netflix Streaming and so the focus switched to YouTube and freebies on Hulu. This week I say we jump back on the Netflix wagon because it’s been a while and I figure the important thing is getting the titles out there. If you don’t have Netflix Streaming, keep your eyes peeled for these…
House at the End of Time (2013)
I’m going to blame my not being able to shake this Venezuelan haunted house flick for the existence of this entire post. If you dig ghost movies or mysteries, this is a must see that is likely to become a new favorite. There’s something genuinely haunting about this flick and what’s even more stunning is just how moving it ends up being. Check it out. It left me feeling like I’d just finished a hearty book.
Starry Eyes (2014)
I can’t help taking high praise for an indie horror film with a grain of skeptical salt. I get the feeling that reviewers are overly generous and more interested in patting themselves on the back for their noble support than being forthright. Starry Eyes though, actually deserves any and all praise it gets. It fascinating, circling the drain, character study about false hope and self-obliteration and it has the power to disturb you right down to the marrow of your bones.
The less you know about this fun flick from New Zealand concerning a snotty girl confined to a house full of secrets, the better. Most of the joy here comes from never being able to pin anything down and having your expectations turned on their head at every turn. My hat’s off to any movie that can pull off being hilarious without losing the steam of its scares and this rollicking coaster ride does just that. Watch it on Netflix but do yourself a favor and order a hard copy too just in case it disappears. I’d say this a keeper worth more than a few visits.
Late Phases (2014)
As a rule, you should probably watch anything that stars Nick (STAKE LAND) Damici because he could possibly be the coolest person who ever lived and I decree, the lone heir apparent to Charles Bronson. On paper, LATE PHASES is almost too good to be true. It’s a werewolf movie that takes place in a retirement village directed by the guy who did HERE COMES THE DEVIL and not only does our man Damici play a blind war vet with an adorable seeing eye dog, the film also sports the likes of Ethan Embry, Lance (HALLOWEEN II) Guest, Tom (MONSTER SQUAD) Noonan, Rutanya (AMITYVILLE 2) Alda and Tina Louise. It’s not nearly as fierce of a beast as it could have been but that cast, especially the Damici, make it well worth taking a bite out of.
I thought maybe I hated this movie but then I realized it was just insanely overrated and presented in an aggressively misleading way. It’s weird and uncomfortable at times but I think my day-to-day life is more horrifying than the concept of being hired to do a job and having high-end whiskey thrown at me by a guy who is trying too hard to be my friend. CREEP isn’t my idea of horror; it’s more of a cross between a parody of OLD JOY (2006) and a budget remake of THE CABLE GUY (1996). It has a few unsettling moments but they’re pretty much doused by how unconvincing it all is. Still, it’s memorable and Marc Duplass is amusingly shameless and there’s enough quotable lines to reference to easily earn it a comfortable corner on the cult couch.
September 13th, 2015 · 6 Comments
Often I’ve revisited a movie that I wasn’t too keen on originally to find that I have a new fondness for it. In the case of 1983’s FRIGHTMARE, nearly the opposite is true. It bowled me over upon first view and now I think that was more of a right place, right time sort of thing. It just goes to show you how outside factors can really influence a person’s feelings about something and how the old thumbs up or thumbs down, “good” or “bad” system of rating movies (or anything) is pretty dumb (or at least shortsighted and limiting).
If I remember correctly, I saw FRIGHTMARE sort of spur of the moment. My Dad took my brothers and I to see some action movie (I’m picturing BLUE THUNDER in my head but I could be wrong) and once we got to the theater, I saw the poster for FRIGHTMARE and naturally had a strong pull toward that instead. (No shade toward BLUE THUNDER intended). Somehow I was able to finagle my way into seeing FRIGHTMARE by myself while everybody else bonded over explosions in the theater next door. Seeing any horror movie in the theater was pretty exciting in those days but there was something especially thrilling and liberating about seeing one by myself. It felt like a fence had been trampled over and I was standing over a cliff and if I leaned too far over, I had nobody to pull me back.
FRIGHTMARE is about a group of crafty kids who are such big fans of celebrated horror icon Conrad Razkoff (played by slightly less celebrated horror icon FERDY MAYNE) that they steal and desecrate his recently deceased corpse and trigger supernatural shenanigans that insure their own doom. What’s great about FRIGHTMARE is how it’s all about horror films and fandom and how it marries old school gothic horror with the popular tropes of the day and (most especially) how it features a mansion and a decapitation. The effect looks pretty standard today but in 1983, I remember it being quite the money shot.
What’s NOT so great about FRIGHTMARE is that it’s way too dark (was it always this dark? I can’t believe that) and it has a frustrating habit of mumbling and meandering. I don’t mean to be an ingrate to this B-movie that once gave me shelter when I was green, it’s just that JEFFREY COMBS is in it (rumor has it, he was cast for his resemblance to the already-made decapitated head prop) and once you realize that in two years he’d be put to full, impossible-to-ignore use in RE-ANIMATOR, the whole affair starts looking even soggier by comparison.
FRIGHTMARE is available to watch free online thanks to TROMA. It’s doubtful it’ll rock your world but it’s got some cool ideas even if their execution is wanting. (There’s also a CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS moral flapping around which I’m totally down with and adamantly adhere to. You really shouldn’t force a dead body to dance with you without expecting it to kill you later). In any case, it’ll always have a special chair at my table for initiating me to the fine art of going to the cinema solo. I’m also granting it one extra flapjack for featuring the guy who played Porky in PORKY’S and one extra peanut butter pinecone birdfeeder for being so thrifty as to borrow its poster art off of FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.
July 26th, 2015 · 1 Comment
Let’s talk about the best dollar bill I ever spent. Recently I snagged 1990’s METAMORPHOSIS: THE ALIEN FACTOR (not to be confused with the other movie called METAMORPHOSIS released the same year without the ALIEN FACTOR part) at my usual used VHS haunt simply because it was horror/sci-fi and I thought it would be swell to fall asleep to. I recognized the bland box art from my video store days and to say my expectations were low would be to wrongly suggest that I had any expectations to speak of. Anyway, I ended up being rather blown away by it. In fact, I was left with the desire to strangle any and every person who had seen this hidden treasure and had failed to recommended it to me.
I don’t get how this movie isn’t a horror household name/fan staple by now. The plentiful special effects are so fantastic and creative and all around glorious that I wanted to rewind them again and again. Honestly they left me feeling rather sad and nostalgic, not for a time period left behind but for a way of seeing things that we’ve lost the ability to. I’m guessing modern audiences would mostly see the multiple creature beasties in this flick as phony rubber puppets, whereas once upon a time they might have used their imagination to blur the lines and make them real. Dang, this blast from the past is even kind enough to serve up heaping ladles of stop-motion animation (!!!) and that’s like chicken soup for this horror fan’s soul! Why, I think it has even reversed my balding!
How have I lived this long without the knowledge that METAMORPHOSIS: THE ALIEN FACTOR began life as a sequel to one of the greatest monster fests know to man, THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983)? How? The two films may no longer have any connective tissue plot wise but they certainly remain kindred spirits on a DNA level. And even beyond the ambrosial special effects, this here is a rollicking good time stuffed with some hilarious lines and what the local actors lack in talent they more than make up for with adorably awkward charisma.
You know what? I’m just going to blame the misleading nondescript artwork on the tape for all of this movie’s woes. Some dingbat in marketing made the bad call of selling this squishy creature feature like some somber dirge and the history of sci-fi horror has suffered the consequences. I wag my finger at that person as they burn forever in hell.
This is Sunday Streaming so I’m leaving you with the flick on YouTube below in hopes that you develop a taste for it. The smudgy picture doesn’t do it any favors but hopefully it will be enough to push you toward Amazon to grab a copy on DVD (It can be yours for less than 10 clams!). Normally I’d temper a gush with a, “It may not be for everybody” but if you frequent this site and you’ve read this far then trust me, this is for you! Would a face like the one below lie?
OR BETTER YET: Here are some choice scenes in higher quality:
July 19th, 2015 · 2 Comments
Today was made for watching something terrible and movies don’t get much more terrible than 1988’s heavy metal dipped, killer-in-scrubs slash-a-thon THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY. It’s easy to confuse this title with any number of SLUMBER PARTY and/or SORRORITY HOUSE flicks but trust me, this one is in a class all by itself and it should stay in a class all by itself until it is properly vaccinated.
What can I say? Atrocious movies are an important part of my horror diet! I’ve got news for anyone who thinks that crappy horror movies are a modern scourge: the truth is the ratio of good to bad has always been wildly uneven. But hey, if you are too thin skinned to withstand mind-numbing artlessness and soul stomping banality you have no business scouring the halls of horror with the serious adventurers. Personally I learned early on renting from video stores that for every MANIAC there were a dozen SCHIZOIDs and for each well built HOUSE there were blocks of BLOOD SHACKs. It’s O.K. though because the bad movies make the good movies shine all the brighter. To fully appreciate PROM NIGHT you just have to endure GRADUATION DAY and taking a long walk across a parching BLOOD BEACH only makes the menthol coolness of THE FOG that much more of a relief.
Anyway, back to the garbage heap that is THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY… I advise all who attempt a watch it to first place a nice comfy pillow on the ground so that your jaw has a comfortable space to land when it inevitably drops. Now, I’ve always hated the cliché of complaining that characters in a horror movie are so unlikable that you can’t wait for them to die (because really you shouldn’t have to like a person to not want them to die) but in this case, the sentiment is on the nose apropos. As if TLSP didn’t have enough going against it with every possible factor of it being substandard, every person, including the final girl we’re meant to route for, behaves like a perpetually obnoxious cretin. At the risk of being labeled too PC, I’m going to admit that I can imagine a couple thousand things more endearing than the male lead calling his girlfriend a stupid bitch every chance he gets and she countering with every derogatory homophobic slur under the sun. Seriously, the dialogue is so gay-bashy, it could have very well been written by my sociopathic older brother when he was 14, a severely brain damaged bigot or an uncredited ELI ROTH.
Not that tellingly repetitive slang is anywhere near being TLSP’s greatest offense by a long shot. It’s actually way more insulting towards the art of film, the discipline of screenwriting, the medical profession, the orange juice industry, XANADU fans, TOM SELLECK‘s mustache, the entire state of Louisiana and whoever invented the ladder. It’s so bad I’m trying to figure out a way to trick Aunt John into watching it for more than ten minutes even though I know he’ll tap out at five. It’s so bad that I’m passing it on to you like a hot potato covered in cooties. Listen, I wouldn’t even post about this if it was your standard static wall of boring ineptitude, the truth is this flick is pretty remarkable in its ability to consistently deliver things to shake your head at and be appalled by throughout its entire runtime. So enjoy! Or maybe just endure.