Sunday Streaming:: Doomsday Alert!

Christ on a cracker! I was looking at my Netflix Streaming queue for something to spotlight today and I was shocked to see that tons of my favorite flicks are slotted to expire on May first! I have no idea why but apparently a grand scale purging of epic proportions is about to take place! It’s very upsetting when I consider all the movies that are not available on other formats! Oh the humanity! Kids, you have to jump on these movies while you can! You never know when Netflix is going to… (I’m making a slashing across my throat gesture with my finger and then rolling my eyes and sticking my tongue out to represent death.)

I know I’m always gushing on this one but it’s one of my favorite finds and it is greatly responsible for my falling in love with the possibilities of Netflix Streaming! Full review HERE.

Luckily this one is on DVD. I’m still going got to give it a shout out though for it also brings back fond memories of my early days of discovery with the betrayer known as Netflix. Full review HERE!

Ack! Not available on DVD! This is a fun anthology of short films one of which concerns garden gnomes that come to life! It also features a video store from way back in the early days! Must see. Full review HERE!

I don’t think this one is on DVD either! Jenny Agutter is in this movie! If that name means nothing to you…get lost! Weirdo! Full review HERE!

10 TO MIDNIGHT (1983)
This one is pretty easy to get a hold of but I’ll just mention it anyway as a gentle reminder that if you haven’t watched it yet, you should. I know it looks like an action flick but its heart bleeds sticky, icky ‘80s slasher blood! More HERE!

Just watch this trailer and realize this is your new favorite movie…


Name That Trauma:: Reader Tony H. on a Motorcycle Zombie

The only thing I remember about this movie is a scene where a woman is driving down a road in a hearse when all of a sudden, a zombie shows up on a motorcycle! During the chase, the zombie’s skin starts to fly off until he practically becomes a skeleton (wearing a dress shirt and tie). After a little while, the woman finally runs the zombie off of the road. Please help me!

Tony H.

Burned at the Stake (1981)

Approximately a trillion years ago, I came across a picture in a magazine (either Fangoria or Famous Monsters) of a weird priest with gross bubbly skin. It was for an upcoming horror film called THE COMING, which to my knowledge, ironically, never came out. The image made a strong impression on me, either due to my psychotic fear of acne or, simply because anything related to religion can’t help being creepy. That dusty memory sat in a shoebox at the very back of my mothball-riddled brain until the other day when I finally came across THE COMING on YouTube, hiding under the alias of BURNED AT THE STAKE! (sticklers who point out that nobody was ever burned at the stake in Salem as the film suggests should be burned at the stake themselves for bumming me out.) Lo and behold, it’s directed by the nice man (BERT I. GORDON) who gifted the world with ant-o-vision in EMPIRE OF THE ANTS and brought to life H.G. WELLs spectacular vision of a world gone mad thanks to giant chickens in FOOD OF THE GODS! This was too good to be true and so I pinched myself and, by pinched myself, I mean did a jig.

What a pleasant surprise this movie is! Maybe it’s not good in that useless, “It’s made well” sense but it’s certainly good in the more important, “I cannot wait to see what happens next” sense! How has this movie remained so far under the carpet for so long? I see that it involves a time traveling pilgrim so I’m going to blame him. It’s very difficult to pull off a time traveling pilgrim. BURNED AT THE STAKE stars the incomparable SUSAN SWIFT of AUDREY ROSE fame, who apparently was working on being type cast as a reincarnate. She plays a nice girl named Loreen, who was not such a nice girl a couple hundred years ago when she was known as Ann Putman and her hobbies included screaming her head off and randomly accusing people of being witches. Loreen is having flashbacks of her previous horrible self and to make matters worse, she’s being stalked by an adorable/scary black dog, the pizza-faced priest and the aforementioned time traveling pilgrim who is rightfully amazed by airplanes. Luckily there is a helpful witch on hand to explain the fuzzier parts of the plot when she’s not too busy having telepathic conversations with the dog. There’s a sweet redemption bit near the end that reminded me of THE SEVENTH SIGN (1988) and more than a few absolutely horrifying wax historical reenactment figures one of whom may or may not spring to life. Also, I dig this witch mobile…

OK, this movie is patently ridiculous but it’s way better than I ever dared hope. Plus, it’s all autumnal and takes place in beautiful Salem, Massachusetts! Fortuitously, I found it mere hours after having seen ROB ZOMBIE’S LORDS OF SALEM (review pending) and I decree that the two movies make an excellent wonder twin double feature! I think they might have even used the same graveyard! It’s probable! Kooky though it may be, BURNED has a semi-cruel dark streak as only a film that concerns itself with a five-year-old being burned alive can. SUSAN SWIFT‘s performance is seriously solid, regardless of the heaps of hokum thrown at her and frankly, I’d take this cockeyed lunacy over drippy AUDREY ROSE any day of the week! Somebody who cares about humankind should put this unfairly forgotten flick out on DVD and they should do it quickly! They should also put a blurb by me on the back that says, “ So bewitching, you won’t even care that it doesn’t involve giant chickens!”

Name That Trauma:: Joe R. on a Bleeding Heart Church

This was probably 15+ years ago, but I was at my grandmothers house and there was a movie playing. During the opening there is this young woman and she somehow ends up in a church or some old building of the like. She walks up the a lectern and there is a book on it, she walks up, opens the book, and there is a beating heart inside. She then looks down at her own chest and there is a big bloody hole. I don’t remember anything else except being traumatized by fear and running out of the room. Any help is greatly appreciated. I want to say it was an old version of Phantom of the Opera or something like that, but really I have no idea.

Sunday Streaming: Crap Attack!

How’s about let’s do something different this week!? I know it probably seems that I love everything but that is far from the case. I’d just rather talk about the films I enjoy and I figure if anybody desires feigned outrage, pointless fussbudgetry and persnickety cynicism, they can always visit an IMDb board! Every once in a while though, it’s probably good to clear out the rain gutters. So, in the spirit of spring cleaning, let me now share some Netflix Streaming films that, for whatever reason, failed to float my boat! If you yourself enjoyed any of the following, my apologies and good for you. I never say never and I invite these films to seek me out on a later date and convert me if they can!

THE RAVEN (2012)

I wasn’t asking too much from THE RAVEN. I only needed it to respectfully capture its time period, throw in a few POE references and tell a reasonably engaging story. I figured if I could look past the convolutions in SLEEPY HOLLOW and the atrocious acting in BRAM STOKER’s DRACULA anything was doable. What I wasn’t counting on was the misguided casting of the usually likable JOHN CUSAK. I’m guessing an attempt was made to present a lovably roguish character a ‘la ROBERT DOWNEY JR. in GUY RITCHIE’s SHERLOCK HOLMES flicks (both of which I did enjoy) but all we end up with here is an annoying prick. The one saving grace of the movie is LUKE EVANS and I have a theory that this whole thing might have worked if he and CUSAK just switched roles. Nah, probably not.


This one makes me sad. The first film was fun as hell and made me rethink all my prejudices concerning found footage movies. This one is exactly the movie I mistook the first one for. If you are wondering what the original would have been like with an intolerable cast… here is your answer. Also, I think somebody is gravely overestimating the terror value of elongated mouths.


You’d think aiming as low as possible might ensure some level of success but not in this case. There are plenty more fish in the shark movie sea, pick any and you’d be better off (I suggest JAWS: THE REVENGE, at least its funny) Thank God we’ll always have THE INNKEEPERS to remind us what SARA PAXTON is actually capable of.


A bus full of schoolgirls face off against four escaped mental patients tripping on LSD! I don’t know how this movie finds a way to be boring but it does. On the plus side, it stars a three legged dog named Hannah who lost her leg in a real life pub robbery and won an award for bravery! Hannah deserves better roles!

Name That Trauma :: Reader Gus on a Halloween Time Trip

Hi! I have very, very vague memories of this one movie me and my brothers got from the library once. It didn’t necessarily scare me, but I really want to know what it was called, because the plot was pretty interesting.

It centered around a few friends trick-or-treating on Halloween night. I think they were all dressed up as standard, classic monsters,for example one was a witch (the only one I remember), and this creepy mythical old guy comes and takes them through time(?) to show them the history of the monsters they’re dressed up as. I know that he takes them to see the Salem witch trials. I also remember weird details like the girl dressed as a witch tapes a broom to her bike as part of her costume in the beginning of the movie. Part of me is wondering if I just imagined it?


UNK SEZ: Thanks Gus! That must be an adaptation of RAY BRADBURY‘s THE HALLOWEEN TREE! The presence of the witch makes me think it has to be the 1993 animated version! Check out the video below, I spy that broom on a bike you mentioned, and check out an earlier traumafession HERE!

Summer Girl (1983)

For the last five or six years, on a roughly monthly basis, I’ve been checking YouTube for the appearance of the elusive 1983 TV movie SUMMER GIRL. My sad, faithful diligence has finally paid off! To the best of my memory, I haven’t laid eyes on this chestnut since the original night it aired. Not that my powers of recall can be trusted. My strongest recollection of SUMMER GIRL has always been of its startling final image, a dark silhouette standing on a cliff in some kind of ominous victorious pose. It stayed sharp in my mind even while the rest of the flick blurred…

…only I totally got that wrong. That scene happens in the middle of the movie with plenty of stuff still waiting to happen. It’s still awesome though! It’s not necessary to go into much detail about SUMMER GIRL’s plot. You are familiar with this tale in one form or another. It’s the same as THE BABYSITTER (1980) which came before it, and the same as any number of HAND THAT ROCKED THE CRADLE-molded films that came after it too. Take a happy family with an insecure wife (in this case our old pal KIM DARBY) and a husband with a roving eye (MEGAFORCE-of nature BARRY BOSTWICK) and then add a seemingly helpful innocent who is in actuality a cunning sociopath and stir. What makes this routine outing momentous is that the one and only DIANE FRANKLIN plays the requisite interloping usurper.

If MOLLY RINGWALD is the peachy pastel face of the eighties we choose to remember, DIANE FRANKLIN is like the darker, deeper, more complicated truth hiding behind that candy coated mask. Not to take anything away from the RINGWALD but while she was constructing happy endings reliant on the acceptance of others (see the classic JOHN HUGHES triptych), FRANKLIN was forging a fickle opportunist heartbreaker (THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN), a tragic incestuous victim of demonic sororicide (THE AMITYVILLE HORROR 2: THE POSSESSION), a fish out of water French exchange student in a suicide comedy (BETTER OFF DEAD) and a vapid video vixen who unsuccessfully battles a mutant from space (TERRORVISION). In her made for television efforts she has the rare distinction of playing both the honorable final girl (DEADLY LESSONS) and the evil menace that must be destroyed (SUMMER GIRL).

I can’t say SUMMER GIRL’s “Cinni” is my favorite FRANKLIN creation (that honor belongs to AMITYVILLE’s Patricia Montelli) but the mesmeric psycho with delusions of grandeur surely adds gravitas to FRANKLIN’s oeuvre and mystique. As it turns out, I’m not all that happy with my newfound knowledge that Cinni is ultimately foiled by party-pooping nonbelievers so I have decided to revert back to my false recollection and continue to see her as that dark goddess on a cliff looking down at us mere mortals triumphantly.