I was watching a movie or TV show when I was young (behind the couch because my parents didn’t know I was watching). I am dying to know what it is and cannot find it anywhere! Two red eyes were glowing in the middle of a cuckoo clock. A red imp/demon/thing comes out of it and stands next to a teddy bear. It grew claws and its eyes started growing red as well. I believe there is also a baby lying on the bed watching it all happen. It’s not cat eyes (although really similar cinematography) and I don’t believe it’s the pit because I can’t find that scene. I can’t find any record of it!
Poor me because I have to sit back and watch all my pals in L.A., New York and even Texas get to see all the cool movies! Although my beloved city of Philadelphia is certainly rich in pretzels and cheez whiz, it’s got little to brag about in the movie going options department. So thank God for the glass of Gatorade in a smoldering Sahara that is PUFF (Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival)! And extra props to them for spinning their web so close to Kindertrauma Castle (at both the awesome CINEMUG (a video store/ coffee joint!) and ADOBE CAFÉ (which is kinda like the cantina from STAR WARS) rather than forcing me to travel to some scary part of the city (anyplace more than 5 blocks away). Before I say something that gets me run out of town, here are four fine flicks that I was lucky enough to catch!
DEAD BODY (2015) (TRAILER)
This one was irresistibly billed as a cross between FRIDAY THE 13TH and CLUE and that’s a fair assessment that makes me want to redundantly add it’s got a strong APRIL FOOL’S DAY vibe as well. Anyone who grew up watching VHS rentals of assorted couples fleeing a faceless killer in the woods will feel snug as a bug in a rug. My only problem with this enjoyable throwback is that the identity of the killer is kind of obvious from the get go. I’m not saying that to impress you with how smart I am because I’m not smart. I’m actually really gullible when it comes to being out maneuvered by a movie. Unfortunately, all of my wishes that I wasn’t right and all of my prayers that I’d ultimately do a spit take and fall off my chair were in vain. Still, there are plenty of twists and surprises to keep you on your toes and I can’t say I’ve ever witnessed a nail-gun being used to such grueling effect before.
NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE (2016) (TRAILER)
This movie is a disgusting, boldly repulsive potato sack filled with vile, stinky, politically incorrect garbage- I loved it! Strange, I know. And my positive reaction makes even less sense when you consider that this deadly sexually transmitted disease flick doesn’t operate much unlike your standard contagious zombie stomp. But I have to say, something about the consistency of this oddity’s brazenness won me over. Even though it often skates thin ice with the subject matter, it never comes off mean spirited and its devotion to nausea keeps it from feeling too skeevy. Yes, the filmmakers obviously have it in mind to shock and gall the viewer but not in the condescending way I tend to hate. It’s almost TROMA-esque in that regard. More importantly for my special effects loving heart, the goopy and gory NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE excels at the same fantastic, freakishly fluid paranoid silly-putty body horror that drove such classics as THE THING (1982) and SOCIETY (1989). It’s exactly the type of rib tickling, stomach churning mayhem that fans often beg for but seldom get.
BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE (2016) (TRAILER)
I’m not sure I understood everything that happened in this movie but I am very sure that at one point somebody turned into a slimy giant were-frog creature and proceeded to chase a panicked kid on his bike down a suburban street. Spoiler Alert: It’s not the slimy were-frog creature that ends up croaking (slapping my knee). There’s a sweet, mad-science comic book vibe hopping on this lily pad and the buzzing retro score is out this world. It’s hard to argue with a film that’s got the good taste to pay tribute to the fluorescent works of STUART GORDON while balancing horror and humor in the style of JOE DANTE (or so I’ve been “toad”… Hahaha… help me).
WE GO ON (2016) (TRAILER)
I had to see this one, it’s from the same folks (JESSE HOLLAND and ANDY MITTON) who did YELLOWBRICKROAD, a movie that gave me plenty to gripe about (as you can see in this review HERE) but ended up haunting me anyway. I’m happy to tell you that WE GO ON is exactly what I‘d hope for as there are far less issues for me to bark about and yet the nagging uncomfortable existential dread that chilled me in YELLOWBRICKROAD is back and then some. This here is just a wonderful ghost story that remarkably pushes the ancient art form into spaces I have never seen it occupy before. It’s all about the pluses and minuses in believing in the great beyond and it pushes the idea that the further you step into the unknown the more you may find your safe seat of sanity dissolving in this plane.
Most importantly, WE GO ON features the immensely talented ANNETTE O’TOOLE (CAT PEOPLE). If anybody reading this is in the business of nominating actors for their work in genre films, let me tell you, O’TOOLE deserves accolades and a half for her flawless work here. She’s so darn good and she’s in some fine company; CLARK FREEMAN and LAURA HEISLER who were both in YELLOWBRICKROAD are welcome returners and as if we could dare ask for more, living legend JOHN (GREMLINS 2) GLOVER is on hand to steal a few scenes too. If you prefer the chilly, cerebral, slow boil side of the horror bed you should tuck yourself into WE GO ON as soon as you can. It has so much more to offer than scares, it’s the type of horror movie that keeps you up at night trying to close the doors it opened in your head. Personally, I can’t wait to see what path these two filmmakers take us down next.
Hey, it looks like I enjoyed all four films with some extra affection for NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE’s flippant midnight movie lewdness and WE GO ON’s stellar acting, profound themes and lingering chills. If you’re keeping score that’s four movies in one weekend festival that were more satisfying than the last four hype-scams I caught in the local multiplex. Oh, and I got to drink beer and eat nachos too! Thank you PUFF for advancing the Philly movie scene or for at least greatly elevating my pre-Halloween horror film intake! What would I have done without you?
Hey there! I’m on the hunt for a horror film that no one can seem to remember. A friend of mine pointed me in your direction to see if you could help me solve this mystery. I can give you what I remember which isn’t much but if you can’t help me, I’m gonna say it’s just a strange nightmare that’s stuck with me for 20 years for one reason or another.
So here’s what I remember from it, there’s a scene in a motel where a group of truckers are murdered and a girl discovers them. One of the guys is left with antlers put through his head. There’s another scene where a girl and a guy are walking down a dungeon-like corridor and hundreds of hands start grabbing at them. And the 3rd scene I remember has a weird red and pink room with a devil/LEGEND-esque monster standing in the center of it. Other than that it’s only blips of images and little things that are vague. I saw it once after school on SHOWTIME and I think it was made in the late 80’s, possible early 90’s but no later.
Email from Babydudeish: I’m trying to figure out the name of a movie from the ’80s where a college student’s brain keeps enlarging and so does his head. There’s a scene where he is chased in a library.
Reply from UNK: I know that one! That’s MIND KILLER! It’s from the same kooky director as that NIGHT VISION flick we checked out back HERE!
Conformation from Babydudeish: Yes! That was it! Phew. Thank you. It’s been bothering me for over a week. Haha.
UNK SEZ: Hey, MIND KILLER is on YouTube! Let’s say we turn this Name THAT TRAUMA into a SUNDAY STREAMING post!
The Entire Planet: Yay!!!