Horrorfest 2022 Presents: La Semana del asesino aka The Cannibal Man (1972, Eloy de la Iglesia)


Cannibal Man has multiple other titles, yet I’m sticking with that one because it sounds the coolest. It also is a lie of sorts, in that Marcos (Vicente Parra) is not a cannibal, although how he ends up deposing of his victims certainly leads to a form of cannibalism in a twisted way. Marcos kills a cab driver by accident while trying to defend his girlfriend, and this leads him down a horrifying and tragic path of death, deceit, and finally insanity. He didn’t mean to become a murder, yet circumstances and his situation turn him into one, and the movie goes from you, the viewer, being sympathetic to you, the viewer being horrified by his actions. Eloy de la Iglesia put his own stamp on the serial killer movie, however this is as much a drama as it is a horror film, and that’s what makes it such a good movie.

I’m amused that this ended up on the Video Nasties list considering that most of the movie is a slow burn punctuated by the killings that happen. There is also a tender friendship that develops between Marcos and his neighbor, who despite having his own suspicions continues to hang out with Marcos anyways. That guy must be super lonely, and yet that’s what the movie chooses to focus on : Marcos’ crushing loneliness and isolation. The movie even has a surprising and open ended conclusion of sorts, refusing to take the easy way out which is admirable. I’m wondering if my rating will go up on a second viewing, yet for now I find this to be a pretty good movie for now. Viewed thanks to Shudder, which is currently my favorite streaming service.

Horrorfest 2022 Presents: The Toolbox Murders (1978, Dennis Donnelly)


The Toolbox Murders first half contains murders that make even a gorehound like myself feel uneasy. Too bad the last half of the movie turns into a bottle episode that slows the movie down until the rather creepy finale. I’m reminded of a steak that appears tasty at first until you start cutting away and realize there’s too much fat inside. I prefer my slasher movies a bit leaner and meaner than even what this one has to offer.

Still Dennis Donnelly’s likely most famous creation works as a movie, and it did have some wonderfully nasty surprises up it’s sleeve. Cameron Mitchell gives a freaky and evil performance, fully taking over the movie by the middle of the flick. Pamelyn Ferdin also does a fine job of being the so called final girl, although she doesn’t get much to do for a lot of the movie.

The Toolbox Murders fits in well among the other 1970s sleeze type horror movies that were a big part of that decade. Some of those movies are fantastic and a few are even classics. I wouldn’t label this one anything other than a decent grindhouse B movie that was unfortunately inspired by real events. People tell me reality is more terrifying than onscreen, and they have a point.

Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Le foto proibite di una signora per bene/ Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970, Luciano Ercoli)


Luciano Ercoli’s Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion was definitely inspired by Alfred Hitchcock movies, and that’s fine. If you’re going to copy or borrow, do so from the best. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, as it is half giallo, half bleak porno where the main character, Dagmar Lassander’s Minou, is trapped in a web of blackmail and betrayal. She also fears being killed by her blackmailer, portrayed with slimy menace by Simon Andreu.

Susan Scott is also lively as Minou’s best friend, Dominique. There is a fantastically creepy rain scene involving a glass window is pure giallo, and some plot elements would easily be at home in any Hitchcock or modern day thriller. The sexual violence and uneasy aspects of what happens helped form the basis for later, more extreme giallos as well. I also am amused and pleased that Ennio Morricone also did the score for this, as he was a mighty busy fellow his entire career. What a legend.

Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1975, Juan López Moctezuma)


Cristina Ferrare is the title slasher villain/vampire in Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary which is a pretty solid entry in the genre. In fact I was reminded of both Martin and The Velvet Vampire as well. The murders in this movie happen fairly quickly and Mary is being followed by an eerie stranger (horror legend John Carradine) who may have a link to her bleak past. I won’t say more, just that despite being goofy at times I was fairly engrossed in this flick and I rather liked it a lot despite the obvious B-movie limitations.

David Young is also great as the caring boyfriend who of course has no idea his special lady has a thirst for blood that is never ending. Juan López Moctezuma even throws in a frantic and wild car chase for good measure, just to pad out the movie. I think 1970s campy vampire movies are among my favorite things from the decade at this point.

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Alice, Sweet Alice (1976, Alfred Sole)


The late Alfred Sole gave us one of the more underrated and chilling 1970s slasher cult classics in Alice, Sweet Alice, which has a memorable killer outfit, gruesome murders and a pretty surprising finale even by 1970s standards. The movie is very grounded in the Catholic religion, and thus religious themes of guilt, murder, sex and punishment are all depicted in very strong fashion. I’ll never forget the eerie mask that the killer wears the entire movie, or how many of the film’s victims meet their own ends. If there was ever a movie to cause the viewer to fear or distrust anyone donning a yellow raincoat, it would be this movie.

Young Alice (Paula E. Sheppard) is part of a family where the mother is divorced; she is jealous of her sister (Brooke Shields in an early role) and loathes some of the tenants of the building she lives in, although one who attempts to molest her definitely warrants such hate. Whether or not she is guilty of the murders that start to occur from the earliest scene onward remains to be seen, and the movie operates as an American style giallo and a slasher movie. The ending is quite chilling and very shocking, and there is one death by falling that forever sticks out in my mind as well for being rather unexpected.

One thing I really love about this movie is how even though it is low budget the cinematography is still quite good, and the direction and pacing work very well. Never once was I bored, and Sole gives you reason to notice and care about the characters, even the more nasty ones. The film has an appropriate body count for maximum effect, and I really wish I had seen a better print of this movie than the one Tubi possessed at the time. Sometimes free doesn’t always work out, although I suppose I could buy this movie from one of the many cult movie distributors currently out in force today. Check it out.

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Flesh For Frankenstein (1973, Paul Morrissey)


Udo Kier also played Frankenstein in Paul Morrissey’s other campy cult horror flick, Flesh For Frankenstein. I think I like this one a bit more than his Dracula one, and it has plenty of nasty and bloody moments. Joe Dallesandro also pops up in this one, and the movie even has a weird yet fitting commentary on eugenics that never made its way into any of the Hammer Studios Frankenstein movies for whatever reason.

The last act is insanely gruesome and pretty shocking even for a Frankenstein movie. Kier hams it up in this one, too, yet I liked his performance better in this flick than in Dracula. This one also has tons of sex to go along with the mayhem, which seemed to be a major aspect of 1970s Euro horror flicks. I think this is a fairly decent addition to the rest of the Frankenstein movies that Hollywood has been making since the dawn of cinema.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Rituals (1977, Peter Carter)


Rituals is a low budget 1970s wilderness horror thriller that was definitely inspired by Deliverance. Yet it has it’s own style and is mostly effective although parts of the movie was the director trying too hard. The final act drags on a bit too much also. Still I liked this movie and I realized midway through that I’m a fan of wilderness horror movies as a sub-genre. Hal Holbrook leads a cast of lesser known actors as they struggle to escape from a killer pursuing them in the Canadian wilderness.

This movie has some great outdoor shots, and Peter Carter puts both the characters and the audience through the ringer. This was a decent enough flick that I only saw thanks to Shudder. I’m not surprised that Steven King is a fan of this movie as many of his stories feature people dealing with extreme situations. Be prepared when you head out into the middle of nowhere and expect crazy people to show up is the lesson I got out of this movie.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (1974, Dick Randall)


First off no one is sure who directed Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks in the first place. Secondly, this movie is a weird mess that doesn’t work as a movie or a Frankenstein flick, which is too bad since the Hammer Studios Peter Cushing one ended that same year in 1974. This movie coasts on nudity, violence and goofy moments that don’t really work. Then the movie actually tries in the last act yet even manages to botch that to a certain degree.

Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to watch this, or perhaps I’ve seen better takes on the material and I couldn’t help but compare Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks to those. Either way, I don’t regret watching this flick even if it wasn’t a good movie, if only to continue my quest to view every Frankenstein movie ever made. I can’t help myself sometimes.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Blood (1973, Andy Milligan)


Blood is a really weird low budget 1970s horror flick that I’m not sure I liked or not. There are certain aspects that worked, and I didn’t hate the movie. Yet Andy Milligan veers between a vampire movie, a werewolf movie and even a killer plant movie. I think he would have benefited from cutting out some plot aspects.

I did laugh at the ending, which I think I was supposed to as I believe it was a nice joke. Some of the movie is really slow and most of the interesting moments only happen in the final act. I suppose you could do worse horror movie wise, and you could also do better. Blood has it’s goofy charms, I suppose.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Patrick (1978, Richard Franklin)


Great SpongeBob almost ruined my ability to enjoy a good cult movie. I keep hearing that stupid but funny “No this is Patrick!” scene the show did. Anyways Patrick is one of those not great, yet still good and solid horror movies I often end up watching. The movie could have used more violence however there is one scene that is rather electrifying, if you know what I mean after you watch this movie.

This flick also has a pretty good pool scene that is well shot and executed. If you build a drinking game everytime Susan Penhaligon’s Kathy says Patrick, you might get pleasantly drunk by the end of the movie. Maybe even before the final scene. Check this out for the early unexpected death scene, stay for the mind powers and a coma patient becoming obsessed with his nurse. The Australians sure have some wonderfully unusual horror movies.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑