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Well, I almost wrote a lengthy intro to this, waxing nostalgic about 16 years of Horrorthons and threads of dozens (totaling a few hundred) of extensive write-ups now long buried in the graveyards of deleted forums, bloviating about my personal rules and standards for Horror movies and Halloween, and rambling on about the joys of second Horrorthon in the bright and sunny month of April.
Instead, I'm just gonna skip ahead to the business of writing up the Horror movies I watch over the course of this month and having as much fun with this as I can. Hopefully, y'all will have some too.
Let's get started.




If I see a bunch of asterisks in one of your reviews, I'll instantly know that you didn't like that film.

I think you just read me.



I apologize in advance for your first entry
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*********!!!

Honestly, wow.
I haven't watched one of these no-budget horror movies in a long time and I'd forgotten just how rough they can be.
Where to begin?
I'll go with a synopsis. This is the story of some high school kids, including one that is obsessed with Halloween and "the rules" thereof, going off to a barn in the country on Halloween night where there was rumored to have been a death/murder 30 years earlier and an urban legend about 3 demons that live there. Needless to say, they run afoul of said demons. They actually end up releasing them on the citizenry of the nearby town, where literally everyone in the town is killed in a demon-massacre, and then there's a sort of climax of fighting the demons and then there's a sort of twist that causes a second climax, which turns out to be a sort of fake-out to set up the final scene. Or something like that. I dunno, I just watched it and that's still the best I can do.
It's funny because this movie actually seems like it should have a pretty linear and well-flowing narrative on paper... so why did it feel like they were making it up as they went along?
Let me talk about the things this film had going for it. The story, ostensibly, works ok for an extremely rote genre picture. I guess the director/writer claims he was going for something and had been thinking about this film his whole life, but every idea in the film, more or less, has been done before, to death, except perhaps the triumvirate of demons concept. Which still was pretty slap-dash.
****, I'm doing a terrible job at being positive about this.
Anyway, the three demon-guys (which are just actors in old clothes, makeup, and/or some kind of mask armed with an axe, a pickaxe, and a sickle... and I think one of them or maybe all of them, I dunno, has like claws or something), are somewhat compelling.
They also, wisely, went for the vibe of making a late-80s horror movie, using the special effects that were popular at that time, animated lightning and magic bolts or whatever, which they were probably able to do on their iPad now, saving most of the budget. Which was like $8,000.
Alright, now the negative.
The script is bad. They are, ostensibly (twice in one write-up!), homaging and parodying tropes from that era of mainstream horror, and also from several more recent ones, but they do a damn poor job of it. Some of that is the dialogue, which is atrocious, and I'm sure they'd like us to believe it's atrocious on purpose but I'm not buying it. The story didn't work much better either. One character seems to get killed like 3 times but keeps showing up to be a demon ass-kicker. Which is actually not that big of a problem because the script makes it so that the demons are easily killed by high school students with whatever is lying around. I think one of the demons is actually killed by being beaten up by a high school boy. Like, beaten up with his fists not like with a sledgehammer or something. One of the demons is killed with a baseball bat. Furthermore, the script makes the point, repeatedly, that all they have to do to survive is keep their ****ing Halloween masks on. Over and over and over again this point is made. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what they do then. Yeah, they take the Halloween masks off like every three minutes. I mean, even when they know the demons are about. Just take 'em right off. Over and over again.
Ok, moving on, the camerawork/direction is really amateurish. I mean, I realize that for $8,000 and maybe some donuts you don't get an actual cinematographer but, oy, this movie looks bad.
Because they have no budget, they have to kinda fake having cool kills. Like 50 people or something get killed in this movie. And there are some things they do that at least work ok. But they kinda have to cut to kills from different angles and use editing to make it all work, so a lot of people, and I mean a lot, are killed in like one second and then the camera cuts away to something else so you can't linger over the shot and fret over the effects budget. Fine, whatever.
The real thing here though is the acting. When I say no one in this movie can act at all, like even at an amateur level, I do not exaggerate. No one. Not one "actor" in this film is less than bad. Except maybe the random dude who played young Jason Voorhees jumping out of the lake in Friday the 13th, he's cast here as like a weird TV personality. And he's not terrible at it, he's kind of credible. The rest is just abysmal. Like, I've always wondered when I watch these zero-budget movies, where do they find these actors? Like, to be in a movie, I think you have to join the Actors Guild. And you would think that there would be enough people out there trying to become actors and movie-stars and whatnot, that you could find like 8 people who were at least pretty good in their high school play. But these filmmakers found none. Not one ****ing person who would even be cast in their high school play.
And I never knew that Linnea Quigley was actually a terrible actress, I mean like, galactically, cosmically bad. In a film of terrible, below-amateur actors, she was actually the worst. Who knew?

Anyway, despite this being the worst movie I've seen in a long time, I think I'm giving this thing a weird sort of pass? It may not sound like it but despite everything, this just didn't feel like a total waste of my time. I mean, there were lots of moments when I felt like maybe I should just skip ahead or even just turn it off... but I didn't. And that's gotta be something. Maybe it's whatever it was that made Thief recommend it (you must have known I couldn't go this whole thing without calling you out).
Make no mistake, this is an atrocious film. But that doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't watch it.



By the way, I have long history of writing a lot more about bad films than good ones.



Waiting for Wools to call me out... waiting for Wools to call me out... waiting for Wools to call me out...




(1972)

Well, this was... icky.
Plot first. Albert is a sick mother****er with aggressively bad ideas about women who has been institutionalized by his mother. But after assaulting a nurse he is transferred to a higher security institution from which he escapes. Free to take revenge on his mother he goes to her home and encounters the housekeeper whom he takes out his really ugly sexual aggression on, killing her before her young daughter arrives from school. He idealizes the girl as innocent and pure and convinces her that his mother has sent him to take care of her while she's sick so they can go off together. From here it gets ickier as he has a fake wedding with her in a hotel and then kills a woman he meets which the child witnesses and... it's just not healthy.
So, this is a tricky one. The narrative is gross. But, it's also not beyond the realm of credibility at all. I absolutely believe that people like Albert existed at the time the film was made and I believe people like him exist now. And the actor, Zooey Somethingorother, was pretty convincing, for a picture of this budget, as the particular type of disturbed that they were portraying. He's arrogant, superior, deeply and truly believes in his own sick view of the world and that everyone else is wrong. It's disturbing but it doesn't seem like something that's just made up for exploitation, I could see where this was coming from.
That said, I also had the experience I have too often now as a man who was born in the early 70s and was allowed to watch anything he wanted as a child/teen. The scene between Albert and the housekeeper was really uncomfortable. And oddly educational. Albert forces the housekeeper to strip and dance in front of him before he kills her. The actress is very sexy. I realized, watching this, that in a different time, before I had come to a better awareness of how awful this kind of sexual threat/violence is, not just the sexual nature of the abuse and the murder itself, but the stripping away of a woman's agency by the physical threat that a man poses, that I actually probably would have been titillated by this scene. And this made the moment really, really gross and it was this, more so actually than the ****ed-up relationship with the pre-teen girl, that made me find this movie so icky.
I dunno, it struck me enough that I felt I had to comment on it. But, like I said before, it doesn't ring false in this movie. While there's no doubt the moment is exploitation cinema, creating an excuse for nudity to put butts in seats, it didn't feel like something that might not happen with the kind of mentally ill misogynist that Albert represents.
So, again, this is dark and icky, and it's pretty low-budget... but I can't say that, on the budget, I thought it was a bad film.



Waiting for Wools to call me out... waiting for Wools to call me out... waiting for Wools to call me out...

Ha!
It's funny because it may read like I was waiting til the end but in fact I forgot until I actually got to the end and then I was like, "No wait, that mother****er does not get off without a call-out!"



Ha!
It's funny because it may read like I was waiting til the end but in fact I forgot until I actually got to the end and then I was like, "No wait, that mother****er does not get off without a call-out!"
Hey, there's nowhere to go but up now. I know any of the other recs I posted will vindicate me. It's all part of the plan.



my favorite halloween movie is this movie :P
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my favorite halloween movie is this movie :P
Ya know, I have still never seen this.
I was the wrong age, 20 years old, when it came out. I couldn't be troubled with childish things, you know, because I was too cool.
I fully intend to get to it at some point, I always really liked Bette Midler and I like SJP too, honestly, but I would probably save this for actual October rather than April.



Also, the Trio Of Witches thing is something I really dig.
Of all the monsters out there, the Witch is the one I have found most compelling and even frightening. I love Witch movies.
And, ever since Shakespeare, the Trio Of Witches has been the thing, right? I always thought it was so disappointing that Argento did not do a better job with his Three Mothers "trilogy". Mother Of Tears is an unbelievably bad movie and even Inferno fails to really engage with the Witch mythology that seems to be right there for the making, leaving Suspiria as the only film of the "trilogy" that actually really works.
I actually used to fantasize about winning the lottery and financing/producing a remake of the Three Mothers Trilogy into what it could be. I had high hopes that the remake would launch that sort of thing (when I repeatedly failed to win the lottery) but, while I liked the film, let's be honest, it was not exactly a franchise-launcher.



Hey, there's nowhere to go but up now. I know any of the other recs I posted will vindicate me. It's all part of the plan.
You'd think so, but The Barn has inspired me to re-watch the worst zero-budget horror movie I ever saw, The Slaughter (2006). So that's probably coming.



Ya know, I have still never seen this.
I was the wrong age, 20 years old, when it came out. I couldn't be troubled with childish things, you know, because I was too cool.
I fully intend to get to it at some point, I always really liked Bette Midler and I like SJP too, honestly, but I would probably save this for actual October rather than April.
u should watch it on Halloween day its good haloween movie



I Dismember Mama looks like my kind of movie. I found a poor-quality version on Youtube, but is there a good-quality one anywhere freely available?

Also, the review sort of reminds me of The Killer of Dolls and Mosquito the Rapist. Have you seen either of those? They're quite decent, in my opinion.
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Welcome to the human race...
Six more months 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
Six more months 'til Halloween, Silver Shamrock
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Ya know, I have still never seen this.
I was the wrong age, 20 years old, when it came out. I couldn't be troubled with childish things, you know, because I was too cool.
I fully intend to get to it at some point, I always really liked Bette Midler and I like SJP too, honestly, but I would probably save this for actual October rather than April.
That's one I also haven't seen.