Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Nope (2022, Jordan Peele)


“What’s a bad miracle? They got a word for that?”

Jordan Peele knocks another movie out of the park and of course he makes one that I can’t fully discuss without endless spoilers and revealing too much. For now I will go with being glad I saw this movie in theaters, and how the first half is more like say, Signs, and the second half is part western part Spielberg movie. Peele gives us spectacular and spectacle in one glorious package, yet also once again mediates upon how easily people can be exploited. I feel this is one of the main themes that runs through his work, and this theme is strong and meaningful. In this case Hollywood is that force that has no problem taking advantage of people, however others in the movie qualify.

This movie has some great visuals, the score is exceptional and the cast is great. You have Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, and Brandon Perea. Kaluuya, Palmer and Yeun are the standouts, however I really dug Perea in this movie and liked his character the most. As I have two sisters I easily appreciated the brother-sister dynamic that OJ and Emerald have, even if it’s fairly obvious that Emerald gets on his nerves from time to time.

More on this later…but things got out of hand. That’s an understatement.

Yeun does great work and serves as one of the most important characters in Ricky “Jupe” Park, a former child actor with plenty of ambitions. It’s that desire that leads him to some questionable decisions, and is a huge aspect of the film. I suppose that someone who was used by the system can turn into a person willing to exploit others in turn, a depressing notion that has been supported by what has gone on in Hollywood for decades.

Michael Abels knocks it out of the park with his score work, and the special effects in this movie are fantastic. Shoutout to Alex Bovaird also for the costume design, and this movie might be the first flick I can think of that actually used Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart to wonderfully creepy effect. Certain aspects also made me laugh on purpose, and I’m forever in awe of the final act. The movie does have it’s weaker aspects, however those are far and few in-between.

At some point this movie deserves a longer, more in depth and better essay and or review than I have time for. Check out Nope in theaters if you still can, and I hope Jordan Peele is allowed to make more films for as long as he wants. I would be fine with Netflix giving him endless money forever to do just that.

Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Invaders From Mars (1986, Tobe Hooper)


I think I’ve seen some of the original cult flick Invaders From Mars which came out in the 1950s. What I saw of that was good, yet dated. You can make the same argument about Hooper’s remake, still I rather liked this one well enough. The ending is gusty, the cast is good, there’s some awesome freaky moments and the movie is very 1980s. Which is fine as Hooper did some pretty good work during that decade and became further established in his own right.

However compared to other 1980s remakes this one isn’t as good as the other ones, although I definitely prefer it over Not Of This Earth, which was not a good movie. Louise Fletcher is wonderfully sinister in this movie, the parents are played by famous actors Timothy Bottoms and Laraine Newman, and Karen Black has a prominent hero role as the school nurse who believes the kid protagonist. Hunter Carson is quite good as young David, the hero, and James Karen plus Christopher Allport pop up as high ranking soldiers who come to David’s aid.

There are several pretty cool sequences too, particularly the one in the saucer alien lair yet also one involving a swirling sand vortex of doom. Stan Winston and John Dykstra do a fine job with the special effects, and even though the movie drags a bit in the middle the finale more than covers for the weaker aspects. I’ll have to view the original in it’s entirety to compare the two, however for now I’m very satisfied with the remake.

Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Without Warning (1980, Greydon Clark)


Alright hear me out: an alien comes to earth to hunt people and faces off against a group of people in the woods. Sound familiar? Well this isn’t Predator, it’s Without Warning, a cheesy early 1980s movie that definitely inspired Predator. Even though it is not as good as Predator (not really in the same ballpark, actually) I still enjoyed this cheesy and quite violent sci-fi horror movie. The cast is largely made up of young people you’ve never heard of, save for a pre stardom David Caruso, yet the flick does have some heavy hitters to assist with the kind of flimsy plot.

You have Jack Palance as a gas station owner who in typical horror movie cliche fashion warns the young people to go home. They ignore him of course. Martin Landau plays a crazy veteran who ends up being just as dangerous as the alien-I feel his character wasn’t necessary and could have been cut from the movie. Ralph Meeker, Cameron Mitchell and Neville Brand appear as movie veterans who aren’t a big part of the movie yet offer it some character actor gravitas.

Funny enough Kevin Peter Hall also played the alien in Predator and he does so here as well, and I liked that the movie only bothers to show the alien later for mass effect. Despite lagging a bit in the middle, this is still a solid and entertaining killer alien movie. The alien sucker things the alien throws at it’s victims are creepy to me, and the movie wisely does its job and concludes. This was part one of a triple alien feature I decided to do via Shudder a month ago.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Psycho Goreman (2020, Steven Kostanski)


Every once in a while there exists a fun cult movie that I fully embrace, and this time it’s Psycho Goreman. PG shows up on Earth and ends up controlled by a sociopathic girl named Mimi who along with her brother Luke end up bounding with an alien capable of destroying their whole planet. This movie is literally if a darker version of ET existed and mated with the Power Rangers.

One of the best parts is a garage rock band fueled montage scene that is darkly hilarious. Is this a horror movie? Maybe, or kind of in a way. This is mostly sci-fi and action, with lots of gore and very funny, twisted humor that may offend some and leave others like me laughing a lot. The special effects in this movie work really well and without them some of the elements wouldn’t have been as effective.

It also helps that both Nita-Josee Hanna¬†and Owen Myre are great as the two kids who should probably be way more afraid of PG than they really are at any given moment. The family dynamic in this movie is also really strong, and I’m hoping that we get a sequel with more Psycho Goreman exploits. Even if we don’t there is still a movie worth viewing more than once. All hail PG!

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Color Out Of Space (2019,


Color Out Of Space has Nicholas Cage balancing his two distinct types of acting: calm, collected, normal and completely unhinged. I think the movie could have used more Cage freakouts, however in this case his dad operates as the film’s main source of stability. Once the center fails to hold and things fall apart, he comes unglued. This was also a pretty good Lovecraft adaption as far as those go.

Elliot Knight’s plays a Hydrologist working for a big company who shows up near the property of the Gardner family. The mom is played by Joely Richardson, Brendan Meyer plays the son and Madeleine Arthur the daughter. They’re a happy, normal bunch until a meteorite crashes into their front yard. From then on, things get weird, very quickly. If there ever was a movie about not trusting the local drinking water, it would be this one.

Even though most of this film is a slow burn, I was never bored and that is all just building up to the film’s last, insane act. The special effects were pretty good here too, and I liked how it ended. Even if this isn’t a great flick it is a pretty good one. More modern adaptations of Lovecraft works, please.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The Brain Eaters (1958, Bruno VeSota)


Sure 1950s cinema mostly featured sci-fi instead of horror movies, yet horror still managed to survive through efforts such as The Brain Eaters. This is a goofy yet well made B-movie that I enjoyed, mostly because it takes itself seriously enough to work. Also brain parasites from outer space is freaky enough, mixed in with of course some light Cold War commentary.

Once those space aliens grab onto your brain, they don’t let go and they take over your actions. There’s a cool scene where the film’s heroes realize that their communications are cut off, and also the finale is pretty entertaining. Other 1950s sci-fi horror movies may be better or smarter, yet The Brain Eaters is still a reliable and fun movie from the old school era of the genre.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Bad Channels (1992, Ted Nicolaou)


Made during Full Moon Features’ 1990s DTV craze, Bad Channels is cheesy, dumb, and mostly fun. This movie works despite it’s obvious limitations, and I was never bored even when I was rolling my eyes at how silly this movie really is at times. The alien creature alone is ridiculous enough, yet so is the movie’s “plot.”

Dan (Paul Hipp) is a loser DJ who is in love with Lisa (Martha Quinn), a reporter who refuses to give him even the time of day. Ah, young romantic sci-fi horror movie complications. An alien shows up, kills some poor cameraman and then takes over the studio Dan works at. This alien then uses the power of rock via the studio’s radio broadcast to steal women and kidnap them! Bad horny alien, bad!

That is about it for the plot, which is outlandish and an excuse for Blue Oyster Cult to show up, rocking nuns and lots of women dancing. For the viewers enjoyment, apparently. The two leads are ok together, yet Lisa could do much better, that’s for sure. 7/10, I say check this out for maximum 90s cheese that doesn’t exist anymore.

Knife In The Back: Horrorfest 2020


Well it is that time of the year again. I think a bit more Tubi than Shudder will be used this time. Perhaps even a dash of Netflix. Also all reviews will be actually linked in the titles since I figured out that looks better. Gonna try to keep up this time with the reviews for a change.

This concludes Horrorfest 2020. I think it went insanely well all things considered despite wifi issues and a pandemic, and I may have overdone it a bit. On to next year!

August:


1. Lady Frankenstein (1971, Female this time!), Tubi

2. Let Me In (2010, Vampires), Tubi

3. Slaughter High (1986, Slasher), Tubi

4. Mausoleum (1983, Demonic), Shudder

5. The Devil’s Rain (1975, Ernest Borgnine Satanic Revenge!), Tubi

6. Sweet Sixteen (1983, Dead Kids), Tubi

7. Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002, Duh), Tubi

8. Bad Channels (1992, Horny Killer Alien), Tubi

9. The Pit & the Pendulum (1991, THE SPANISH INQUISITION!), Tubi

10. Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995, Tony Todd with a hook), Tubi

September:

11. Intruder (1989, Retail is Murder!), Tubi

12. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, Him again?), Shudder

13. Maniac Cop (1988. Cop Slasher), Shudder

14. Subspecies (1991, THE BLOODSTONE!), Tubi

15. The House That Dripped Blood (1971, Spooky Tales), Tubi

16. Trick or Treats (1982, Never babysit on Halloween), Tubi

17. The Car (1977, Demon on wheels), Netflix Instant Viewing

18. Fade To Black (1980, Movies Make People Crazy), Shudder

19. American Gothic (1988, Psycho Family), Public Library Blu-ray

20. Squrim (1976, Killer Worms!), Shudder/Tubi

21. Jack’s Back (1988, The Ripper!), Tubi

22. The Amityville Horror (1979, GET OUT!), Public Library Blu-ray

23. The Invisible Man (2020, Never marry a mad scientist), Public Library Blu-ray

24. The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971, Giallo!), Shudder

October:

25. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966, Giant Lobster!), Criterion Blu-ray

26. Son of Godzilla (1967, Godzilla’s Kid), Criterion Blu-ray

27. The Living Dead Girl (1982, Hungry for Blood!), Tubi

28. Moon of the Wolf (1972, Werewolf!), Tubi

29. Deadly Blessing (1981, INCUBUS!), Public Library DVD

30. Ghosthouse (1988, EVIL DOLL), Tubi

31. The Sadist (1963, Archie Hall is nuts), Tubi

32. The Masque of the Red Death (1964, Plague!), Shudder

33. The Tomb of Ligeia (1965, That Darn Cat), Shudder

34. Doctor Sleep (2019, Shine On), Public Library

35. Scare Me (2020, Storytellers!), Shudder

36. The College Girl Murders (1967, Acid to the Face), Tubi

37. Baron Blood (1972, Undead evil Baron guy), Tubi

38. Don’t Breathe (2016, Be careful who you rob), Public Library

39. Bell, Book and Candle (1958, Love spells), Pluto TV

40. Waxwork (1988, Creepy Wax People), Tubi TV

41. Blood Diner (1987, Sheetar!), Hulu

42. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978, Tomato or Tomatoe?), Tubi

43. Fear (1996, Marky Mark is cray crazy), Public Library DVD

44. Hack-O-Lantern (1988, The blood is the power), Shudder

45. Victor Crowley (2017, Big angry hillbilly), Shudder

46. Firestarter (1984, psychic powers!), Public Library

47. Creature (1985, Alien Monster!), Tubi

48. Haunt (2019, Haunted House Evil), Shudder

49. Blood Tide (1982, Sea Monster!), Arrow Video Blu-ray

50. Edge of the Axe (1988, Brutal), Arrow Video Blu-ray

51. Ringu (1998, Seven Days), Shudder

52. Ju-On (2002, Creepy Dead Kids), Tubi

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: The Deadly Spawn (1983, Douglas McKeown)


There is low budget, and then there is low low budget. The second film I viewed on Halloween, The Deadly Spawn, was made on the super cheap, yet it is one of those dumb fun cult movies that people talk about having seen back when it came out. I found my copy on DVD at Half-Price Books, so I didn’t pay too much. The film has flimsy characters, not much of a plot and clearly was not very well shot, yet I liked it in a trashy sort of way.

Also I enjoyed the title alien, which spends most of the movie hiding in a basement and devouring anyone unlucky enough to come down there. The kills are quite gruesome, the ending made me grin and The Deadly Spawn has a third act that works as an intense violent bottle episode. This is one of those movies that you have to watch to believe, with your brain turned off and beer on hand. Ah, the 1980s.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Contamination (1980, Luigi Cozzi)


Even though the 1980 cult horror sci-fi movie Contamination has been called a rip off of Alien, I found it to be more of a lost, more gorier episode of Doctor Who. Particularly since the main enemy had been possessed by an alien species, and that aspect usually formed the basis of many a Doctor Who episode. Even though it’s low budget qualities are obvious, I rather enjoyed Contamination. The Italians and the Germans in the 1970s and 1980s made films that were destined to be grind house style classics beloved by those who journeyed to rundown cinemas to view the latest splatter fest. Now a days they are the kind of movie watched by horror fanatics (myself included) online (in this case, Shudder) or via physical media supplied by companies such as Arrow Bay or Shout! Factory.

Once again Ian McCulloch pops up as the sturdy hero, although in this movie he is more a haunted burnt out astronaut recruited by others to stop the invasion of earth by exploding eggs. Louise Monroe and Martin Mase fill out the rest of the cast, and provide the film with a weak love triangle that it jettisons the moment the film needs more violence. Naturally this movie ended up as a video nasty, which embellished its reputation and caused more people to want to see it, not less. Honestly Contamination is nothing more than a fun movie, although perhaps that is enough in this case, and due to changes in cinema and budgets a film like this wouldn’t be made today. The B-movie is dead, long live the B-movie.

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