Sunday, 28 October 2012

5 Halloween Themed Movies for Anytime of the Year

I love Halloween!  I love the imagination that goes into the costumes, the treats and the houses when I go to parties or take the kids out trick or treating.  The time and effort that people put into celebrating this day is really outstanding and unlike other holidays it really allows people to look into and have fun with their more macabre sides.  Ghosts and ghouls hanging from trees, witches & graveyards on the front lawn and smiling kids dressed as their favourite monsters or characters running door to door collecting treats.  It puts what little joy I have left into my cold black heart.

It's one of my favourite times of year but what I hate is searching for horror movies that take place on Halloween.  Most lists, not all, have just a list of scary titles that have nothing to do with Halloween.  So, I thought I would make a list of movies that take place on Halloween!

Here are 5 Halloween Themed Movies for anytime of the year!

5. Boo (2005) -It's Halloween and a group of teenagers have decided to go to an abandoned mental hospital.  The guys, Freddy and Kevin have cooked up some serious scares for their lady friends, Marie and Jessie and sent their friend Emmett to the hospital with his dog to set up the traps.  While there, Emmett gets spooked, loses his dog and gets trapped on the 3rd floor with some scary shit going down.  In story B, Allan's sister Meg and her friends went missing after going into the same abandoned mental institution just 2 weeks ago, so he goes to talk to a cop friend of his father's, Arlo "Dynamite Jones" Baines to see if he can help him find his sister.  Somehow, Arlo knows a secret entrance to the place and directs Allan to it.  Allan asks for his help and Arlo says, "Hell no!"  Back at story A, the gang have arrived and Jessica is very apprehensive about going in but after she sees a spooky figure throw her a key, then disappear, she's totally in and the gang start their terrifying journey.  Once inside, the gang are less than scared at the ridiculous things Emmet had set up but when the shit gets real when they see a little girl ghost and evil man spirit, so they take off and run to the elevator, which brings then to the 3rd floor.  In story B, Allen is somewhere and finds his sister, Meg and she tells him all her friends are dead.  Allen then suggests they need to get out of there and try to escape from wherever the hell they are.  On the 3rd floor, Jessica is having these psychic flashes about her dead mom and about a killer that was here back in the day.  From Jessica's vision's, it ends up someone brought a little girl to the mental institution and she got raped and killed in a closet.  Then the inmate who did it, wanted to leave, so he started a fire.  Makes sense.  The nurse working that shift, instead of calling security or putting out the fire, decided to throw the keys away because she would rather die with all the other people there then leave that floor.  Anyhoo, This guy runs shit now in this haunted asylum and needs to possess somebody to escape.  They finally meet up with story B and start getting attack by the ghost! They must escape this madhouse before they all lose their souls! The story is pretty silly, sometimes confusing but there isn't too much going on that we haven't seen before.   It is looow budget and the effects are similar to an Asylum picture (I thought it was).  There are some gory scenes but I'm pretty sure it's mostly computer animated.  The skinned dog looked good.  The flashbacks were annoying and who the hell brings their little girl to a mental institution for the criminally insane? AND then doesn't keep an eye on her? That is some bad parenting.  I didn't mind the film when I was watching it but now when I think about it, it was pretty bad, even by my standards.  Watch if you want, but don't expect much.

4. Night of the Demons (1988) -Again, it's Halloween and Judy is excited to go to the high school dance with her vanilla boyfriend, Jay and his friends, Max and Frannie.  But when Jay calls her, there has been a change in plans and Jay doesn't want to go to the dance anymore and wants to go to a spooky party, the class weirdo Angela and her friend Suzanne are throwing at the Hull House.  Judy agrees and starts to get ready for the party, when her ex boyfriend Sal comes over.  Sal threatens Judys' obnoxious little brother to tell him where she's going tonight and the little runt let's him know she is going to Hull House.  Jay and his crew pick Judy up and see some of their stranded classmates, Stooge, Roger and Helen on the way to the party with a flat tire.  Jay being the nice guy that he is flips them the bird and keeps on truckin.  When they arrive at Hull House, someone explains that it's an abandoned mortuary and the Hull family was murdered there some time ago.  Sounds great!  They go in and Sal scares the crap out of them by hiding in a coffin.  The others arrive and it's time to party!  Then the music stops cause Stooge forgot to bring extra batteries, so they decide to do something Halloweeny and have a seance with an evil mirror.  While having their seance they bring about an evil dragon looking thing and break the mirror releasing demons (?).  The demons seem to go after the host of the party Angela, who then passes it to, like so many STDs to her friend Suzanne.  The gang then splits up and Sal gets to watch a less than impressive interpretive demon dance from Angela and Jay gets fucked in more ways than one by Suzanne.  The possessed start attacking their friends and who ever is left must save themselves to save the others!  This is the second film from, Kevin S. Tenney (Witchboard) that I've seen this month and at least he put demons into this film.  It has that 80's horror fun feel to it but it's not as memorable as say the Return of the Living Dead.  Nor does it have the budget, but it does have sexy Linnea Quigley, who is probably the best part of this film, who plays the slutty Suzanne.  The make up effects are pretty good and it looks like Tenney watched Evil Dead a lot before he shot this because he has tons of shots of cameras shooting through the house.  The acting is mostly terrible, the script is nonsense and the dragon (demon) looks like it was borrowed from a another movie but I still enjoyed it.  It's funny, intentionally or not, and it's one of those films, that's it's so bad, it's good.  Watch you'll be disappointed and that's OK.

3. Hell Night (1981) - Guess what? It's Halloween and there is a party at Alpha Sigma Rho Fraternity house!  President of the chapter, Peter has a special surprise tonight for 4 lucky initiates, Marti, Jeff, Seth and Denise, so he stops the party and makes everyone drive to the creepy old Garth Mansion.  When they get there Peter explains that Raymond Garth had a number of deformed babies and eventually he couldn't take it anymore looking at then, so he killed them, except for his youngest child Andrew, which the police never found and then he killed himself.  Legend has it Andrew still lurks around the house and hides in its catacombs when people go near it.  Peter tells the crowd that Marti, Jeff, Seth and Denise have to spend the night in the house if they want to be part of the fraternity and sister sorority house.  They agree to it and Peter shoots off the lock off the gate and the 4 get pushed inside the grounds.  Peter puts a fresh lock on the gate, the crowd wishing them well and then everyone leaves them alone on the grounds of the terrifying manor.  Once they get inside the house, they discover that Denise is a regular pharmacy and liquor store, as she hands them booze and pills to keep there party going.  Seth hits it off with Denise and they take off to the bedroom, leaving Jeff with boring old Marti.  Meanwhile, Peter, his nerdy henchman AV guy Scott, and May, the head of the sorority come back to the grounds of the manor to unleash their pre bought terror on their initiates.  First they hit the group with some shrill screams!  This spooks the 4 inside, until they find the speaker where the sound is coming from.  Peter, May and Scott split up to play more pranks but while heading over Andrew Garth gets a hold of May and kills her.  Andrew Garth goes into his legendary kill mode and starts offing these college kids, one by one.  Can they kids escape and stop this murderous madman and still get into the frats? Linda Blair all grown up!  She plays Marti and does an alright job.  No, head spinning or crucifix crotching but it's not Roller Boogie either.  Pretty straight forward, fun film that I would check out again.  The kills are descent and the special effect are well done.  There is one scene when Seth shoots the wolfman that I don't get and isn't explained but I did actually jump a couple times while watching this, so what can I say.  It's like those plastic costumes your parents used to buy at the store, something cheap for Halloween.

2. Trick r treat (2007) - This is an anthology of stories that flit around and end up tying together in the end.  It has Anna Paquin, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood looking for a date for a Halloween party in the woods.  A story about a group of kids looking for a lost bus that was in a tragic accident and long time ago.  There's story about about Principal and his son working on a Jack o Lantern and  a tale about a trick or treater that doesn't like the word no.  It's hard to explain this one because it jumps all over the place and I don't want to give anything away.  The stories are all happening around the same time and you can see characters from other stories intertwine with other characters and see how their actions affect the other characters in the film.  It's actually kind of neat.  I didn't care for this movie the first time I saw it, but after watching it again, it's kinda grown on me.  Most of the stories are great little chillers, except the first one with the couple coming home, I didn't care for it.  Anna Paquin is great and so is Dylan Baker, who I think is really under rated.  Great treat on a Halloween night.

1. Halloween (1978) - In 1963, in Haddonfield, Illonois, on Halloween, a 6 year old boy named Michael Myers (not to be confused with the comedic actor) murders his 17 year old sister, Judith and is locked up for the next 15 years in a mental institution.  The night before Halloween, Dr. Loomis and a nurse go to the institution to pick up Michael and find a number of patients milling about outside in the rain.  Dr. Loomis has a gut feeling and runs to the gate but he's too late!  Michael has just car jacked the nurse and is headed out on the highway.  The next day in Haddonfield, teenager & lonely hearts club member Laurie Strode coincidentally, has to place a key under the mat of the old Myers place.  On the way, she walks with Tommy, the boy she babysits and when they get to the Myers house, he tells her that everyone thinks the Myers house is haunted and scary and he wouldn't go near it for a million billion dollars.  Unfortunately, Michael is watching from inside the house as Laurie puts the key under the mat and is choked to hear how kids feel his house.  Then Laurie and Tommy head to school.  Back at the Institute, after a good nights sleep and hearty breakfast, Dr. Loomis has decided to head to Haddonfield to find Michael.  On the way, he finds a crashed tow truck and a pack of matches from his stolen car.  No time to find the driver, to Haddonfield! Tally ho!  After school, Laurie and her besties Annie and Linda talk about having to babysit and how Annie plans to let Linda and her boyfriend get in the house to have sex.  On the way home, Laurie, notices a station wagon following them and a mysterious figure watching her from the bushes in a mask.  Her friends clown her and they all go home looking forward to meet up later.  Dr. Loomis stops at the grave yard to discover Judith's headstone is missing and it's no time to explain to the cemetery worker, to Haddonfield!  Evening comes and Lauire and Annie are babysitting and little do they know that Michael Myers is coming to visit them tonight!  Probably, my favourite John Carpenter film!  I love that Michael Myers is just a relentless killing machine and actually becomes super natural in this film.  Before he left the asylum, they thought he was just evil and he is actually killed for the first of many times in this movie and gets back up.  So it's either PCP or he's got the devil in him.  Jamie Lee Curtis is brilliant as Laurie and really stakes her claim as reigning scream queen of the time.  Donald Pleasence is awesome as Dr. Loomis, who is terrified of Myers but recognizes that he is the only one that can stop him.  The creepy title music that runs through out the film, is simplistic and amazing!  Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine.  If you haven't seen it, watch it now because this is a must for any Horror or film fanatic!

After watching these films, you'll be counting down the days to Halloween, making plans for costumes and treats but remember it isn't a good Halloween without a really good scare!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

5 Films with some Evil Children

Children are so cute and you wouldn't think that they could do anyone any harm to anyone, especially your own, but as we all know kids can be pretty evil sometimes.  Looking back, I remember, knocking on doors and running away, making prank phone calls (try doing that now) and egging houses being part of a regular past time with me and my compatriots on many evenings.  Mischief is part of a child's nature and he or she always wants to explore their boundaries.  However, the children in the following films, know their boundaries and have decided to push through them and have gone from being an annoyance in their neighbourhood to something a little more disturbing.

These are the 5 Films with some Evil Children

5. The Pit (aka Teddy) (1981) - Jamie is a friendless 12 year old boy who talks to a Teddy bear, which he can hear talk back.  Everyone seems to pick on him for some reason, no matter how hard he tries to be nice.  His parents have had enough of Jamie being strange and they are moving the family (?), so they hire Sandy O'Reilly, a young psychology college student, to watch Jamie while their out of town looking for houses.  Jamie falls instantly in love with Sandy, tells her about his secret friends the Tra-la-logs, who live in a pit a little ways away and asks her what she though a Tra-la-log would eat?  Sandy laughs and says she didn't know.  Jamie then experiments to see what the like to eat and finds out that they enjoy meat but he can't afford to keep going to the butchers, so he starts feeding them people he hates.  Can Sandy help this maladjusted boy with her first year teachings psychology with the aid of her football playing boyfriend or will Jamie continue to push his enemies into the pit, until no one is left?  This movie is pretty all over the place.  There are so many scary elements, it's crazy.  There's the creepy kid, then a demon teddy bear, then monsters in a pit and eventually there is even a ghost! And some things that happen don't make sense at all, like why everyone in town is so mean, or why are the adults are so dumb and why has no one else discovered this pit?  Most of the terror is suppose to come when Jamie throws people into the pit, but it is done in such a way that it's more comedic and you rarely see the monsters killing or eating the people.  I still enjoyed it, more because of the ridiculousness of the story and wanting to see what they came up with next.  The only thing I would have liked to seen more of is the demonic bear but the film had a terrific ending and worth watching on slow day.

4. Devil Times Five (aka Peopletoys) (1974) - Five children survive a bus crash in the snowy woods and head out to seek shelter from the cold elements. They head towards a chalet they see up ahead not knowing that an adult has survived and is trying to catch up with them.  The chalet is owned and being occupied by business man, Papa Doc, his slutty wife, Lovely, his daughter Julie, her douche boyfriend, Rick, Papa Doc's pussy/yesman business associate Harvey, his drunk wife, Ruth and the mentally handicapped care taker Ralph.  I don't really know why they're there, some say business but Rick just wants to let down what's left of his hair down and party. I guess, when your dating the bosses daughter and you've had sex with his wife, you think you can do anything.  Anyhoo, the kids noticed that they are being tailed and hide in abandoned area of the chalet.  When the adult arrives the kids gang up and in a slow motion showcase of black and white brutality, murder their former caretaker.  Apparently, from the tag on the adults' uniform, the kids belong in a mental institution, but don't they all.  The kids are eventually discovered in a room at the chalet and the adults let them stay the night.  They have dinner and the adults begin to notice that the children are behaving strangely, but the chalk it up to youth and going through the dramatic experience of the bus crashing.  However, when they notice that the phone lines have been cut and the people start dying, docuhebag Rick and Papa Doc start putting 2 and 2 together and begin trying to stop, then escape from the kids.  This movie is pretty slow to start and the adult characters aren't very likable but as it progresses it turns into a very interesting film.  When the children start killing the adults, they come up with some inventive methods to taking them out.  I did enjoy watching them play with the corpses while waiting for the next victims.  Low budget, enjoyable and I would probably watch it again.

3. The Child (1977) - Alicianne is returning to her rural town to take care the Mr. Nordon's daughter, Rosalie.  On the way there, her car gets stuck and has to hoof it through a creepy forest.  She is startled by a dog, who is being walked by a young boy and an old lady named, Mrs Whitfield.  They walk to Mrs. Whitfield's home and she gives Alicianne directions to the Nordon house.  Alicianne thanks her and takes Mrs. Whitfield's invitation for tea, even though she is already really late.  Over tea, Mrs. Whitfield talks about how Rosalie mother has recently passed away, and since her passing, Rosalie has become a trouble maker and has been in the area when bad things have happened to other people.  After their tea, Alicianne heads to work and lets herself into the Nordon.  Mr. Nordon comes downstairs pissed, asking her where the hell she's been.  She explains she had car trouble and got lost.  Nordon introduces her to Len, his son and tells her that he will drive to get her things tomorrow.  She finally meets Rosalie and they seem to like each other.  Alicianne notices that Rosalie likes to go out at night and hang out at in the graveyard.  She asks Rosalie about it and Rosalie says that is where she meets her friends.  Eventually, Rosalie and her friends start killing people, even people we know nothing about, to get revenge for her mother's death, that doesn't really get explained either.  Alicianne and Len escape into the night, but can they stay ahead of Rosalie's friends and stop Rosalie?  This movie has a style of it's own.  Sure, the acting is horrendous and Ed Wood would be shaking his head at their day for night shots but it is fun to watch.  The special effects are also very good and there is a lot of gore.  *SPOILER*The friends are zombies and they are the strangest zombies I have ever seen but they're no less scary.*SPOILEREND*  Again, it takes some time to get into but once it's rolling it is pretty good.

2. The Children (1980) - A school bus with some children drive through a mysterious fog.  Shortly after, Sheriff Billy finds the bus on the side of the road empty.  He heads over to the closest home, which is Dr. Goulds'.  Luckily, she is sunbathing while she waits for her son to come home from school, so after she gets dressed, her and the sheriff go looking for the kids.  They go back to the bus and she concurs with the sheriff that they are not there.  Now the seem stumped, so the sheriff goes into town to put up a roadblock and just as he leaves Dr. Gould hears her son calling to her.  Coincidentally the voice is coming from a cemetery, she runs up into the cemetery and finds the bus driver dead from horrible burns on his skin.  She fears the worst, then turns around and sees her son is okay and wants to hug her.  They hug and Dr. Gould's skin melts instantly!  Meanwhile, the sheriff has set up a roadblock and gone to visit other parents to see if their children have arrived home.  No ones has seen their kids, so the sheriff and a local dad go out looking for these kids.  Meanwhile, the children are melting people like nobody's business and soon the only ones left are sheriff, the local dad, his wife and their son who didn't go to school that day.  Good day to fake a cough.  The children seem unstoppable with there hugging/melting, can the sheriff and his survivors ever escape and save the town?  I loved the make up effects for this movie, I think Craig Lyman did an excellent job.  I like the idea of radioactive children zombies offering hugs to kill, it's kinda of a bent thought.  The acting isn't very good and you can see the ending a mile away but it's a fun time waster.

1. Children of the Corn (1984) - One day after church, a little boy named Issac and his friend Malachai staged a coo in the town of Gatlin.  They killed all the adults in town after "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" told them too.  Three years later, on the way to his internship, Burt and his girlfriend Vicki hit a boy standing in the middle of the road.  Burt gets out of the car and takes a look at the boy.  As a phsycian he declares his diagnosis, MURDER but not by him.  Apparently, the boy had already had his throat cut and was pushed into the road.  Burt looks around, finds the kids suitcase and then packs the boy and everything into their roomy trunk, so they can get to a phone and call the police.  They stop at a gas station, where a crotchety old man tells them to avoid Gatlin, cuz "those folks got religion" and points them to another town further ahead.  Try as the might get to the other town, it seems all roads end at Gatlin for Burt and Vicki, who find an eerily abandonned town, with corn husks everywhere.  They start to leave the town, when they see someone go into a house.  They go in and find a little girl named Sarah, playing records and drawing pictures.  Burt asks where all the adults are and Sarah tells them that Issac put them in the corn field.  With new hope, Burt heads to city hall and leaves Vicki with Sarah.  Unfortunately, Malachai and the other children capture Vicki and crucify her in the cornfield.  Burt isn't doing much better because after stopping a ritual at a local church, he is now being chased through the town by the kids.  Can Burt and Vicki ever escape these wretched religion loving children?  I remember being so scared of this movie when I was a kid and loving it!  Courtney Gains plays the Malachai character to a tee and make him so chilling and John Franklin does a fantastic job as the child preacher Issac. Linda Hamilton is excellent in her pre -Sarah Connor role and even Peter Horton sells the shit out of the Burt character.  Not a lot of blood shed throughout the film, but it does have it's moments and the tension starts as soon as they get into Gatlin and you can feel your neck hairs start to rise. This one is a must see!

So, if you were a mischief maker or a little hellion, maybe don't feel so bad about playing pranks on the neighbourhood because door bells are always ringing and eggs can always be wiped off but when you get to the level, like in these films, there is no turning back. And the next you see a kid digging a hole or trying to give random hugs, remember these films, it may save your life.

P.S: The Omen - Damien is the son of the devil and a supernatural creature.  The children in these films are regular kids, if you can call them that but you know what I mean.  The Omen will probably show up on a future list.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

5 Movies with Mummy Issues

I have always enjoyed the mysteries that surround ancient Egypt.  The building of the pyramids, the fascinating deities and the sophisticated burial rituals.  Organs removed, dehydrated, wrapped and symbolically reanimated so the spirit can pass through into the spiritual realm sounds way more interesting than what we do now.

I was never really interested in Mummy movies, even after the whole Brandon Fraser, Mummy franchise exploded, I always thought that it was just another zombie knock off but after watching a few, I can say that it certainly has it's own niche.  I found that most of the time, the Mummy character isn't a ghoul looking to feast on flesh but rather a sympathetic character who is trying to reclaim his love from his past or that he is seeking retribution for being wronged. However, sometimes he or she is just evil and wants to suck the soul out of someone's butt, which can be pretty fun too. Watching it not, ahhh, you know what I mean.

With that in mind, here are 5 Movies with Mummy Issues: 

5. Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy (aka Las Luchadoras Contra La Momia) (1964) - The Black Dragon and his evil gang are killing scientists all over the place.  After giving them the slip, a scientist reaches an arena where ladies wrestling is being enjoyed and slips into the women's dressing room. Pervy. When the match concludes, the female tag team of Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi go back to their dressing room and are confronted by the scientist.  He explains that he needs the help of the fiance of Gloria Venus, who's uncle is Dr. Trelles, who he's worked with and is in great danger. It seems as though, the Black Dragon is killing the scientists that were collecting codecs of a Aztec nature and has almost deciphered the code, but doesn't know who has the code, so he's killing them all until he finds out. Makes sense.  He tells the brawling beauties that he and the professor are the last two and he doesn't know anything!  And then he is shot.  They tell the fiance and race back to the professor's house to warn him.  Professor Trelles devises a plan to give hide each piece of the codec and that way the two lady wrestlers and his nephew can each take care of a piece of it.  The plan fails and the Black Dragon, ends up with all the codecs except for one.  So, the fiance, puts a winner takes all bet on a match where the wrestling women must defeat the Black Dragon's Judo sisters to win the codecs.  In the most bizarre, best out of seven (?) falls match ever, The women wrestlers win and get the codecs.  The Black Dragon excepts defeat and decides to keep an eye on the gang to see what the codecs will bring to them.  With 20 minutes left in the movie, let's bring in a mummy.  Professor Trelles deciphers the codec and discovers that there is a tomb with a mummy, who has a awesome necklace.  The gang goes to retrieve the necklace and awakens the (wait for it) The Aztec Mummy!  Now they have to stop not only the evil, but fair and reasonable gang of the Black Dragon but The Aztec Mummy as well!  This movie is pretty ridiculous and when I saw Rene Cardona (Santa Claus, Night of the Bloody Apes)was directing, I knew what I was in for.  As you probably read the story is all over the place and the acting is terrible.  The Mummy can turn into a bat and it does not venture out during the day, which makes it the weirdest mummy ever.  However, the make up for the mummy is pretty awesome and the wrestling is ok, if you like lady wrestling.  If you like looong, weird movies, it can be fun.  If not, maybe try to avoid.

4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) - Professor Dubois is murdered in the night, over his team's discovery of the ancient tomb of Prince Ra.  His team consists of Egyptologist Sir Giles Dalrymple, John Bray and his daughter, Annette, who is devastated by his death.  Their benefactor, Alexander King has changed his mind and has decided to tour the the artifact instead of leaving it in Cairo, which does not sit well with the local government but fuck it, Alexander King is gonna make so money.  Once in London, during to rehearsal for the first showing, Mr. King opens up the sarcophagus for the first time revealing the mummy.  Annette makes a new friend named, Adam Beauchamp and he speaks of an evil curse for opening the coffin but everyone thinks that's a bunch of mumbo jumbo and they set up for the show for the next night.  The big show opens up and when Mr. King opens the sarcophagus and the mummy is missing.  Not only is the mummy missing but that night their team is stricken with a number of unexplained murders! Can Annette Dubois solve the mysteries of the murders and find her mummy?  Good movie, lots of unexpected twists and a little mystery to boot.  Although this is a Hammer Film, it didn't have many of the Hammer regulars and it wasn't filmed at Bray but Elstree Studios but it still had the elaborate settings and the magic the Hammer was known for.  Again, not a lot of blood but some good kill scenes.  Worth checking out.

3. Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) - Margret Fuchs is having strange dreams about an Egyptian princess having her hand cut off by priests and being stuffed into a Sarcophagus.  No matter, tomorrows her birthday and her dad, renown archaeologist Professor Julian Fuchs just gave her a fab new ring from an ancient expedition, that he never wants to talk about, he was on many years ago!  Her boyfriend picks her up, digs the ring and suggests to her to find out more about it from a friend of his, Geoffery Dandridge, who is an egyptologist.  They go to see him and Dandridge freaks out when he sees Margaret and the ring!  They leave, just in time to find out that Professor Fuchs has had an attack of some kind and must be put on bed rest.  They also find in her basement, where she is not allowed to go into, an Egyptian themed room which includes a sarcophagus and a half naked woman who resembles herself. Kinky dad.  Luckily, the evil Corbeck has let himself in and is going to explain everything.  Apparently, Professor Fuchs has been obsessed with Queen Tera for a while now and set up a party to find her tomb.  On the day that the tomb was discovered and they opened up the coffin, it just happened to coincide with the day Margret was born and her mother dying.  Professor Fuch brought the stuff home, divide up the relics so the evil queen couldn't get her power back and disbanded his archaeological super group!  But the the queen is mad from the grave and using her ghostly powers is collecting the relics and killing off the scientists!  Margret and her boyfriend have to try and stop her before she becomes too powerful!  This Hammer Film may have had a curse on it.  After five weeks on a six week shoot, director Seth Holt passed away and they brought in Mummy movie expert Michael Carreras (The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb) to finish the shoot.  Also Peter Cushing, Hammer regular, had to leave after the first week of shooting to tend to his wife who had fallen ill.  The film is good and led by 2 time Bond girl, Valerie Leon, who they stuff into the most revealing outfits, I've seen in Hammer history. Not complaining.  The story kinda jumps all over the place and some of the deaths, you shake your head, but it is pretty solid film and the ending is excellent. It's also nice to see and female mummy for a change to shake things up a bit.

2. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) - Elvis is alive! And he's living in a retirement home in east Texas.  Apparently, he was tired of the hassle of fame and fortune and switched identities with an Elvis impersonator named Sebastian Haff.  Unfortunately, Elvis's contract with Haff blew up in an RV accident and Sebastian dying on the royal throne has left the once prominent singer stuck in this nursing home with a bad hip and a cancerous goiter on his penis.  However, that is the least of his problems because during the night a Mummy sneaks into the home, sucks the souls out of the residents anuses and shits their souls into oblivion.  Can he and J.F.K, who the government turned into a black man, stop this soul sucking son of bitch and save the nursing home, and maybe the world.  Don Coscarelli (Phantasm series, Beastmaster) does a terrific job putting together this horror comedy.  Bringing in Bruce Campbell to play Elvis and Ossie Davis to play John Kennedy creates an interesting dynamic.  I'd have to say that Ossie Davis really steals the show with his low key but at times hilarious J.F.K and Ella Joyce is can be very funny as the nurse.  It has some good kill scenes and the special effects are pretty great.  If you like Bruce Campbell or mummies, then you should check this out.

1. The Mummy (1932) - Archaeologist Sir Joseph Whemple and his assistant Ralph Norton have uncovered the mummified remains of Prince Imhotep.  From the damage done to the sarcophagus, they believe he was buried alive for sacrilegious reasons.  Also, the priests may have enclosed with him, a box that contains the scrolls of Toth, which are magical and can bring people back to life. Fingers crossed.  Whemple speaks with his buddy, Dr. Muller outside their tent about the ramifications of opening the box, while his idiot assistant opens the box, reads the scroll and awakens the Mummy!  The mummy takes off, completely blowing the mind of Ralph Norton and causing Sir Joseph Whemple to leave Egypt, vowing never to return again.  Ten years have past, the son of Whemple, Frank and Professor Pearson are visited by an odd man named, Ardath Bey, who has some information on the tomb of Princess Ankh-es-en-amon's tomb.  They find her mummified remains and donate them to the Cairo museum, but Ardath Bey seems to be hangin out after hours and is trying to use his magic on the mummy.  Strangely, while using his magic, he summons Dr, Muller's house guest, Helen Grosvenor to the museum.  When she arrives though, Ardath has forgetten to unlock the door for his ancient booty call and she collapses at the front door; only to be found by Frank and his father, Joseph "I'll never return to Egypt" Whemple.  Even though they just met, Frank eerily falls in love with Helen, not a lot of choices in the desert I guess, and they discover Ardath Bey is the mummy from ten years ago! He wants to kill Helen, mummify her and bring her back to life as princess Ankh-es-en-amon! What?! Now they have to find him and stop his evil plans for love!  Boris Karloff is fantastic as both the Ardath Bey and the mummy but the real star is make up artist Jack Pierce for transforming Karloff into his character.  Not a lot of blood but a classic horror tale filled with suspense and intrigue that Universal was known for back in the day.  Fantastic story, must see for any horror fan!

So, put away your Egyptian Book of the Dead, wrap yourself up in something warm and enjoy these classic Mummy movies.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

5 Wicked Witch Movies

Witches, they seem to have gotten a bad wrap over the last hundreds of years.  What with the plague, then the Spanish Inquisition (which nobody expected) and finally the Salem Witch Trials, it just didn't pay to be a witch back then.  The church believed that these people but mostly women had sold their souls to the devil, for magic ability to create spells or potions to control and hurt other people.  This led to perhaps the most unreasonable trials and tests that no one could survive, whether you were a witch or not.  Luckily the witch hunts were stopped but the idea of having these abilities has created a wonderful mythos for movies & television.  Some of the films have witches working alone or with a coven, some are male witches called warlocks and some are spirits exacting revenge for their prosecution many years ago.  Whatever the case, the witch character is an intriguing and fascinating villain for the horror genre.

Here are 5 Wicked Witch Movies:

5. The Blood On Satan's Claw (1971) -While plowing his field, Ralph Gower uncovers a freaky skull with one eye and covered with fur.  He runs over to tell the Judge and asks him to come look at it because it seems evil.  Apparently, Ralph does this a lot because the Judge warns him that if it's not evil then Ralph is in a lot of trouble.  When they arrive, the skull is gone & the Judge shakes his head at Ralph.  Oh Ralph. Meanwhile, in another part of the movie, Ralph's boss arrives home with his new fiance, who his aunt disapproves of and they have dinner with the Judge.  The fiance isn't feeling well, so she excuses herself, which becomes a question of where she is sleeping?  They stick the poor girl in the attic, where in the middle of the night she is attack by a hairy claw hand!  She goes mad, stabs the aunt and is hauled out of the house to an institution. Later that night, Ralph's boss is attack by the claw hand and ends up cutting of his on hand, which he was choking himself with.  The next morning the Aunt's disappeared and the Judge bids them farewell, telling them that there will be some bad times coming.  Thanks, your honour.  In story 3, some kids have found some bits of bones and claws, so they put it in a bag and bring it to school.   The teacher is very religious and doesn't like kids playing with animal bone bits in his class.  He confiscates the bag and the children are pissed.  They seem to be led by a girl with some heavy duty eyebrows named, Angel Blake, who now enjoys killing her classmates, taking their skin for the devil and trying to seduce the teacher. Umm eww.  At the funeral, her father tells the local busy body, who happens to be the town constable that she was propositioned by the teacher.   The constable arrests the teacher and they find another body in a shed.  Ralph decides to go into town and talk to the judge.  The Judge recently borrowed a book and has learned for this book that these signs all point to, that's right, Witchcraft! He and Ralph most now stop it before it goes to farther! (or at least farther than it's already gotten to because he ignored it in the first place.)  This was a fun film to watch and Ralph has the worst clothes I've ever have seen in a period/folk piece. Though a little confusing at first, it comes around eventually back to the Ralph story and it's full steam ahead.  Some creepy scenes, that may have inspired films like the Wicker Man or even Children of the Corn, with kids conducting religious ceremonies and villagers being overcome by the beast.  Not overly violent but some good blood scenes here and there.  Enjoyable and a good watch.

4. Witchboard (1986) - Jim & his girlfriend Linda are having a party and someone invited douchebag Brandon Sinclair, who happens to be Linda's ex-boyfriend and Jim ex best friend.  Awkward.  Luckily, he brought a Ouija board, now he and Linda can visit the spirit of an 8 year old boy named David, which Brandon's been spending a lot of time with for some reason.  They contact him and apparently he hates Jim, and Jim teases him about being a ghost, so he blows out Brandon's tires.  Take that Jim.  The next day, Brandon has left his Ouija board there and Linda tries and to contact David.  David tells her that Jim is a still a jerk, she's pregnant and her lost diamond ring is in the sink in the bathroom.  Meanwhile during lunch and some serious back story conversation, Lloyd, Jim's new best friend gets crushed with some sheet rock.  At the funeral, a magic enthusiast and homicide detective named Dewhurst clumsily indicates that Lloyd death may in fact be a murder!  At home, Linda is still playing with the Ouija board and losing her temper with Jim.  She drops the baby bomb on him and he almost tells her he loves her.  The next day, Linda tries to say goodbye to David but he gets angry and throws a knife down on the kitchen floor, then adds insult to injury by pouring ketchup on the floor.  Luckily, Brandon is one step of head of Linda, goes to Jims work and explains to Jim that Linda is in the first phase of demonic possession, "Progressive Entrapment".  Brandon brings over the flakiest medium, Zarabeth and she rids the apartment of David.  On the way home, she mentions to Brandon the name Malfeitor and asks if he has ever heard the name before.  He hadn't so she said she would investigate the name but she is killed shortly after she gets home by an evil spirit.  The next day, Linda is hospitalized from a spiritual attack of some kind.  Fed up, Brandon & Jim put away their differences, try to find the grave of David and find out why he's being so evil!  The worst part about this movie is there are no mention of witches throughout the film! Why call it Witchboard if there is no witches?  *Spoiler* They could of even tacked on that Malfeitor was a witch as well as a killer just to make it make sense. *End of Spoiler*  Anyway the story is silly, the detective is so useless, telling them that the axe that was used to slit Zarabeth throat was the same axe that cut the ropes to kill Lloyd.  I don't think so.  Linda is played by the girl from the Whitesnake video, "Here I Go Again" and the voice of Annebelle on Eek! The Cat, Tawny Kitaen and no one else is recognizable unless you watch soap operas, then maybe Stephen Nichols.  Low body count and when people die, its meh.  It would be more amusing to watch maybe drinking with some friends but by myself I found it witch boring. 

3. Warlock (1989) - After the looooongest walk in an opening, some priests arrive at the top of a tower and tell the chained Warlock that he is going to die.  After some ever so clever banter in ye old talky talk of, no I'm not, yes you are the priests leave.  However, random guy, Redferne is there to tell him that he is happy that the warlock is going to die because bewitched his love, Marion.  Unfortunately, Satan has other plans for the Warlock and sends the Warlock into the future to the year 1989.  When the Warlock arrives, he thrown through a window in California and is nursed back to health by Kassandra with a K and her room mate, Chas.  The next morning to thank them, the Warlock kills Chas and heads into the city to check out a book signing.  At the book signing, he convinces a medium to channel the devil for him and the Devil employs him to find the Grand Grimoire.  This is the Witches how to book, which happens to have God's name in it and if God's name is said backwards, then the universe will be destroyed.  Meanwhile, the police have brought Kassandra with a K in for questioning but gets to leave because she's diabetic.  I need to remember that.  She goes home and Renferne surprises her!  He somehow tagged along in the satanic whirlwind, but what the fuck he's there with a witch finder tool.    She calls the police but before they arrive the Warlock comes back because part of the Grand Grimoire was in an antique table that was bought by Chas.  How convenient.  Anyway, The Warlock escapes and puts a aging spell on Kassandra, so now she and Referne must go on a 3 day road trip, save Kassandra, stop the Warlock and save the world! Director Steve Miner returns to horror after Soul Man, a stint on Wonder Years and puts this one together.  Julian Sands actually does a great job as the Warlock.  He gives the character just the right pompous attitude and flair that makes the Warlock a likeable 80's bad.  Richard E. Grant is also terrific as Renferne, despite the name but Lori Singer's Kassandra character drives me mad.  She is so unlikeable, it's not even funny.  The movie is alright and as some hits and misses with the special effects.  The medium turning to the devil, good.  All the flying scenes of the Warlock, bad.  Not a huge body count but it still was a fun ride.

2. Superstition (1982) -A young couple is parked outside a spooky old house.  During a break in their make out session, they talk about how creepy the area is and all the supernatural events that have happened there.  The girl suggests they go but the guy says it's fine.  All of a sudden!  A head pops up, scares them and they drive away while some guy is laughing hysterically in the bushes.  The guy radios his buddy in the house and tells him how funny it was but they should get going.  The guy inside agrees and comes downstairs when he's attacked by the something eeeevilll!  His friend outside gets tried of waiting and comes inside to find his friend.  Only to see that his friends head is in the microwave and it explodes!  The guy runs and tries to crawl out a 2nd story window, which cuts him in half.  The end.  No wait, apparently the police are fed up with this house killing people and the church who owns the property needs to take care of this murdering house.  They also need to drain their lake, because if someone survives the house, they may drown in the lake.  The young priest explains that a new reverend is coming to live there with his family but the old priest can go down to the house with the detectives to see what's up.  They go down there and discover a creepy old lady and her mentally challenged son live in a house right beside the evil house.  After minutes of detectiving, they decide the handicapped man is the killer and the young detective chases the mentally disabled person to the lake.  Only he escapes and the evil lake sucks up the detective.  The police put out an APB on the handicapped fellow and search the lake.  Not finding anything but a silver cross, they give up and give the cross to the young priest to investigate.  But wait, isn't the reverend and his family coming to live in the house soon.  We need to spruce it up!  During the sprucing up, the old priest gets it in the chest with a saw blade, um gruesome, and the new family arrives just shortly after.  Apparently, there is no crime in his town because the one detective that we have left is just hanging out while the new reverend and his family are unpacking.  Him and the young priest aren't torn up by there loses, if only they had some clue of what was going on.  Eventually, the young priest, after a bunch of murders finally finds out that the home belonged to a witch, that the town drown 300 years ago, but because she wasn't burned she can attack people in the surrounding area and now that the silver cross was removed from the lake, she can kick some serious ass in the tri-state area.  Can the young preist get his ass in gear with the help of the alcohollic Reverend and stop this witch?  This movie is pretty gory.  There are some terrific kill scenes and was on the Video Nasties list at one time.  The story isn't very good, but it can be funny at times.  The acting is poor and I noticed that costume continuity wasn't a huge priority.  All in all, fun film and totally worth a view.

1. Suspira (1977) - Susan Banyon arrives in Munich to go to a prestigious ballet school.  When she arrives, it is storming and another student, who is visibly upset is yelling about something into the school.  The upset student runs into the night and Susan rings the doorbell but is told to go away and they've never heard of her.  Susan gets back in the cab, feeling rejected.  However the upset student runs to her friends apartment and asks to stay the night.  When asked about what happened, all the student says is that it was unbelievable.  She catches her breath and asks to use the bathroom, where she is horrified, not by the smell but an evil set of eyes in the window.  She is pulled through the window by a hairy arm and stabbed repeatedly in the chest.  For good measure she is thrown out a window and hung by an extension cord.  Her friend runs downstairs and freaks out!  When the police arrive, the friend has been murder as well.  So, when Susan arrives at school the next day, she meets Miss Tanner and head instructor Miss Blanc, who aren't visible upset and excuse themselves from the police to talk to the new girl.  Miss Blanc tells her that her room is not ready and she can stay with another student until it's ready.  She is brought upstairs and left with the girls in the change room.  She meets her obnoxious room mate and makes a new friend with another girl named Sarah.  The next day, she is told her room is ready but she tells them that it's okay and she's happy living outside the school.  Miss Blanc insists but Susan says it's alright.  Miss Blanc leaves in a huff and while Susan is walking down the corridor of the school, the kitchen lady flashes something in her eyes.  Susan gets to class disorientated and while warming up, she collapses.  When she wakes up, she finds all her bags have been moved in and she is being treated by a doctor.  Miss Blanc and the doctor inform her that she needs to rest and they have put her on a strict diet.  That night, they top floor has maggots dripping from the ceiling and the girls panic, Miss Tanner investigates the attic and find a box full of...spoiled meat!  They have a slumber party in the practice hall and Sarah starts filling in Susan about weird things that go on in the school, while they hear some bizarre snoring.  The blind pianist, whose piano playing sounds like an orchestra, helper dog attacks Miss Blanc's nephew.  He and his dog are banished from the school and winds up dead.  Sarah tells Susan that she knew the girl who was murdered when Susan arrived.  And that she thought there were witches in the school and they were being evil and stuff.  Can Susan find out the secrets of the school and stop the witches, if they exist?  I love Suspira and every time I see it, I find more things to like about it.  Dario Argento has some very stylish and graphic kills in this film, that still hold up today.  This is the first in his, Three Mothers trilogy which includes Inferno and Mother of Tears, which are both excellent films.  Great film and a definite must for any horror fan!

 So, make sure your cauldron is bubbling and you've got your pointy hat on when you watch these movies.  And if any clergy people come to your door, make sure you turn them into a toad before you fly away on your supped up broom. I'm out, Witches!