Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Cannibal Ferox (1981, Umberto Lenzi)


Every negative thing people said about Cannibal Holocaust applies instead to Cannibal Ferox, which is a wretched piece of trash. I didn’t mind the poor acting or the low budget, nope that wasn’t an issue. The problem is I didn’t care about what happened to any of the characters and the plot is really dumb. It’s all just an excuse to feature lots of gore and horrible things being done to people.

I’m reminded of Roger Ebert calling movies geek shows, and I sometimes felt he was being too harsh or getting up on his moral high horse. Yet I think he had a point at times and geek show definitely applies to Cannibal Ferox. This is a repulsive, lame excuse for a movie that I’m glad I saw on a streaming service instead of in theaters. I’m also maybe a little unnerved that I wasn’t affected by this movie. Perhaps I watch too many horror movies every year.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Messiah of Evil (1973, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck)


Equal parts slow burn, nightmare fuel and zombie film, Messiah of Evil is one one those 1970s cult gems that people talk about years later. There are two scenes that echo in my mind: one is a grocery store one that is super freaky, the other takes place in a movie theater which calls to mind Carnival of Souls. Both are highly effective and add to the film’s overall high eerie factor that works very much in it’s favor.

Arletty (Marianna Hill) goes to a small California town in search of her father, played by Royal Dano. Running into an old man (Elisha Cook, Jr.) who tells her about a dark prophecy straight out of a Lovecraft story. She ends up joining a rich guy (Michael Greer) and his two female pals (Joy Bang and Anitra Ford) who hang around despite all of them, Arletty included, reading her father’s spooky diary.

In fact much of this movie has the look and feel of a Lovecraft adaption, with some solid nods to George A. Romero, of course. The final act is your quality 1970s finale that has no qualms about being gloomy. I liked this movie a lot and I might watch it again if Shudder still keeps the rights or Tubi has it. This kind of movie is why I love 1970s horror so much: it has guts, literally.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Zombie Holocaust (1980, Marino Girolami)


The Italians sure had a sense of style and many of their 1970s and 1980s films were gory and fun to watch. Some of them featured Ian McCulloch, who has a good screen presence in the handful of horror films I have seen him in. Zombie Holocaust is one of those, and it also went by multiple names, which was normal for foreign horror cinema. I found this movie to be wonderfully campy, and not as brutal and unforgiving as a certain other, more famous movie I watched in October. I gave both the same rating, and each one achieves different goals, which is fine.

Donald O’Brian hams it up as the resident mad scientist, while Alexandra Delli Colli serves as the film’s screen queen. I chuckled at the “I am determinded to have your brain” line, and I thought the zombies looked delightfully nasty in this film. Oh and this film has cannibals, because it takes place mostly on an island in a horror movie and so that’s a basic requirement, it seems. Even though this is mostly for gorehounds such as myself, I think Zombie Holocaust is one of those midnight cult movies that is both entertaining and was shocking for the 1980s. I wish I could have seen this on the big screen.

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Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato)


Do not, I repeat, do not watch this movie while eating if you cannot handle disturbing gore and really messed up images. Even though Cannibal Holocaust is slow at times those casual moments help build up tension, leading up to sickening moments. Also the group that a small team consisting of a select few goes looking for do everything possible to bring about their fate. The two groups stand in vivid contrast to one another. Its almost as if ignoring the rules of the jungle and behaving in an imperialistic, savage manner can result in horrible things happening to you. That seems obvious to everyone but the film makers who decided to make a documentary and in the process inserted themselves into their own film.

Ruggero Deodato’s film may be sketchy on character development, and the fact that the movie features actual animals being killed is rather unnecessary and brutal. At the same time, the film is so incredibly real looking that even by today’s standards it remains horrifying and shocking. It is not surprising that the film was banned, not to mention the director himself was accused of showing actual death scenes. The part where the professor and his two guides encounter and deal with the natives are both suspenseful and later very dramatic.

Oh and Riz Ortolani’s score is exceptional, adding more to the film and giving it an added boost. Cannibal Holocaust proved to be controversial, gory, and inspired multiple later horror films. If one is able to hande Deodato’s classic tale of savagery and man’s indifference to their fellow man, then this is right up your alley. Whenever upon hearing that a film was banned in countries and is controversial, I for one desire to seek it out. For better, or for worse.

Horrorfest 2018 Makes Me Shudder: 10 Years of Viewing


Look, I know the last one was a bust. I blame work, laziness, whatever. However this time I have a new, better resource: Shudder. Also not going with a list again, just showing the ones I have seen so far. Plus this is the 10th year of me doing Horrorfest. Wow. So I plan on going all out this time.

Based on the viewing list, I think I did pretty well.

1. Tourist Trap (1979, Crazy People)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
2. Sleepaway Camp (1983, Slasher)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
3. Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988, Demonic)-https://wordpress.com/post/madman731.wordpress.com/8723
4. Daughters of Darkness (1971, Vampires)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/horrorfest-2018-presents-daughters-of-darkness-1971-harry-kumel/
5. Basket Case (1982, Creature Feature)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2gT
6. The Meg (2018, Big Ass Shark)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-meg-2018-jon-turteltaub/
7. The Void (2016, Weird As Hell)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-void-2016-steven-kostanski-and-jeremy-gillespie/
8. The Addiction (1995, Vampires)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-addiction-1995-abel-ferrara/
9. Bad Moon (1996, Werewolf)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/?p=8763
10. The House By The Cemetery (1981, Italian horror)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-house-by-the-cemetery-1981-lucio-fulci/

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11. Don’t Go In The Woods (1981, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/horrorfest-2018-presents-dont-go-in-the-woods-1981-james-bryan/
12. Curtains (1983, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/horrorfest-2018-presents-curtains-1983-richard-ciupka/
13. Magic (1978, DUMMIES ARE CREEPY)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/horrorfest-2018-presents-magic-1978-richard-attenborough/
14. Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971, Giallo)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/the-black-belly-of-the-tarantula-1971-paolo-cavara/
15. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988, Angela)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/horrorfest-2018-presents-sleepaway-camp-ii-unhappy-campers-1988-michael-a-simpson/
16. Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989, Angela. Again)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/horrorfest-2018-sleepaway-camp-iii-teenage-wasteland-1989-michael-a-simpson/
17. Scream Blacula, Scream (1972, Blacula. Duh)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/horrorfest-2018-presents-scream-blacula-scream-1973-bob-kelljan/
18. Split (2017, The Beast)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/horrorfest-2018-presents-split-2017-m-night-shyamalan/
19. Burial Ground (1985, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/horrorfest-2018-presents-burial-ground-aka-the-nights-of-terror-1985-andrea-bianchi/
20. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989, METAL BECOMES FLESH)-https://wordpress.com/post/madman731.wordpress.com/8814

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21. Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Cannibals)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2ik
22. The Giant Spider Invasion (1975, Spiders. Duh)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com
23. Teenage Zombies (1960, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/horrorfest-2018-presents-teenage-zombies-1960-jerry-warren/
24. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974, Duh)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/horrorfest-2018-presents-bram-stokers-dracula-1974-dan-curtis/
25. Creepshow 2 (1987, Anthology)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2iA
26. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977, WTF)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/death-bed-the-bed-that-eats-1977-george-barry/
27. Zombie Holocaust (1980, Zombies)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2iJ
28. The Gate (1987, Demons)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-gate-1987-tibor-takacs/
29. Chopping Mall (1986, Killer Robots)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/horrorfest-2018-presents-chopping-mall-1986-jim-wynorski/
30. Halloween (2018, Ole Mikey)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com

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31. Hell Of The Living Dead (1984, Zombies)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
32. The Bat (1959, Slasher Mystery)-https://wordpress.com/post/madman731.wordpress.com/8915
33. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994, Weird)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com
34. Contamination (1980, Aliens)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/horrorfest-2018-presents-contamination-1980-luigi-cozzi/
35. We Always Find Ourselves in the Sea (2017, Ghosts)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com
36. Madman (1982, Brutal)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
37. Willow Creek (2013, BIGFOOT IS PISSED)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/horrorfest-2019-presents-willow-creek-2013-bobcat-goldthwait/
38. Ghostwatch (1992, BBC Ghost Hunting)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/horrorfest-2019-presents-ghostwatch-1992-lesley-manning/

Halloween Night:

Rewatch: Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987, Barnes & Noble Blu-Ray)

39. The New York Ripper (1982, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-new-york-ripper-1982-lucio-fulci/
40. The Deadly Spawn (1983, Aliens)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-deadly-spawn-1983-douglas-mckeown/
41. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961, Duh)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/horrorfest-2018-its-hammer-time-presents-the-curse-of-the-werewolf-1961-terence-fisher/
42. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986, The Sawyer Clan)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/the-texas-chainsaw-massacre-2-1986-tobe-hooper/

Horrorfest 2017: Dead Can Dance!


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Go Zombie Michael, Go!

Okay enough Friday the 13th homage titles. If you have not listened to the band Dead Can Dance, do so. Anyways its time for more horror films, as I have fallen into the old habit of viewing them every year. Plus writing reviews, which I plan to do much faster this time. My public library (three separate branches in town) has enough to get me started, and I am finally making the switch to Blu Ray after years of slumming it with DVD’s. So for my few readers, time to get scared…again.

PS: Long overdue reviews being written now. Also unfortunately this one was a rare bust due to life issues, lack of streaming, etc.

Public Library Edition Planned List (in alphabetical order):

1. Bite (2015, body horror)
2. The Black Torment (1964, gothic horror)
3. Blair Witch (2016, duh)
4. Blood For Dracula (1974, duh again)
5. Bram Stroker’s Dracula (1992, DUH)
6. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, creature feature)
7. Crawlspace (1986, crazy people)
8. A Cure For Wellness (2016, crazy people)
9. Drag Me To Hell (2009, demons)
10. Flesh For Frankenstein (1973, creature feature)
11. Final Destination 2 (2003, DEATH)
12. Fright Night (2011, vampires)
13. The Girl With All The Gifts (2016, zombies)
14. Green Room (2016, crazy people)
15. The Horror Show (1989, evil spirit)
16. Krampus (2015, duh)
17. Legion (Exorcist III Director’s Cut, 1990, demonic)
18. Leviathan (1989, creature feature)
19. Lights Out (2016, evil spirits)
20. Little Shop of Horrors (1986, creature feature)
21. The Neon Demon (2016, crazy people)
22. Prison (1988, evil spirits)
23. The Quiet Ones (2013, evil spirits)
24. The Ring (2002, pissed off spirit)
25. The Tall Man (2012, urban legends)
26. Wrong Turn (2003, cannibals)
27. 31 (2016, seriously crazy people)

Other:

28. Night Monster (1942, creature feature)
29. Mother! (2017, crazy people)
30. The Manster (1959, creature feature)
31. Raw (2017, cannibals)
32. The Satanic Rights of Dracula (1974, yep)
33. Urban Legend (1998, slasher)
34. It (2017, Pennywise the Dancing Clown!)
35. Pieces (1982, giallo)
36. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976, giallo)

Halloween:

Rewatch: Return of the Living Dead (1985, zombies)

37. Jennifer’s Body (2009, demonic)
38. Salem’s Lot (1979, vampires)

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