Dead People Aren’t Much Fun: Horrorfest 2022


Still hilarious

I’ve run out of title ideas. That or I’m just tired these days. Yet I press on to another Horrorfest even though at some point I’ve got to be getting too old for this sort of thing. Anyways on with the show!

July (Monsters Oh My!):

Those folks rock.
  1. Creature with the Atom Brain (1955, Edward L. Cahn), Arrow Films Video Blu-ray Creature Feature
  2. The Werewolf (1956, Fred F. Sears), Arrow Films Video Blu-ray Creature Feature
  3. Zombies of Mora Tau (1957, Edward L. Cahn), Arrow Films Video Blu-ray Creature Feature
  4. The Giant Claw (1957, Fred F. Sears), Arrow Films Video Blu-ray Creature Feature
  5. Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1975, Juan López Moctezuma), Shudder Vampire
  6. Who Saw Her Die? (1972, Aldo Lado), Shudder Giallo
  7. Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970, Luciano Ercoli), Shudder Giallo
  8. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972, Amando de Ossorio), Shudder Undead Knights Templar
  9. Eat Brains Love (2019, Rodman Flender), Shudder Zombies
  10. Mosquito (1994, Gary Jones), Shudder Creature Feature
  11. Without Warning (1980, Greydon Clark), Shudder Aliens
  12. Invaders From Mars (1986, Tobe Hooper), Shudder Aliens
  13. Dark Angel/I Come In Peace (1990, Craig R. Baxley), Shudder Aliens
  14. Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge (1989, Richard Friedman), Shudder Slasher

August (Things Aren’t What They Seem):

Gordy’s home!
  1. (15) Nope (2022, Jordan Peele), Theater Viewing Aliens
  2. (16) The Stepfather II (1989, Jeff Burr), Crackle Family Psycho Man
  3. (17) Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957, Roger Corman), Crackle Creature Feature
  4. (18) Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959, Bernard L. Kowalski), Crackle Creature Feature
  5. (19) AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004, Paul W. S. Anderson), Hulu Aliens
  6. (20) Needful Things (1993, Fraser C. Heston), Shudder Devil
  7. (21) Head of the Family (1996, Charles Band), Shudder Mutants
  8. (22) Uncle Sam (1996, William Lustig), Shudder Undead Soldier
  9. (23) The Wolfman (2010, Joe Johnston), Tubi Werewolf
  10. (24) The Toolbox Murders (1978, Dennis Donnelly), Shudder Slasher
  11. (25) Son of Dracula (1943, Robert Siodmak), Tubi Dracula
  12. (26) Bloodsuckers from Outer Space (1984, Glen Coburn), Tubi Vampire Zombies
  13. (27) Color Me Blood Red (1965, Herschell Gordon Lewis), Tubi Slasher
  14. (28) La Semana del asesino aka The Cannibal Man (1972, Eloy de la Iglesia), Shudder Crazy People
  15. (29) The Predator (2018, Shane Black), Public Library Blu-ray Aliens

September (Murder, and Lots of It):

Always bring a flashlight in case you lose your phone
  1. (30) Nadie oyó gritar aka No One Heard the Scream (1973, Eloy de la Iglesia), Shudder Giallo
  2. (31) Watch Me When I Kill (1977, Antonio Bido), Shudder Giallo
  3. (32) Meatcleaver Massacre (1977, Evan Lee), Shudder Demonic
  4. (33) The Wizard of Gore (1970, Herschell Gordon Lewis), Tubi Murder Wizard
  5. (34) Mansion of the Doomed (1976, Michael Pataki), Shudder Mad Doctor
  6. (35) The Oracle (1985, Roberta Findlay), Shudder Possession
  7. (36) The Fall of the House of Usher (1928, Jean Epstein), YouTube Edgar Allen Poe
  8. (37) Storm of the Century (1999, Craig R. Baxley), Hulu Stephen King
  9. (38) Barbarian (2022, Zach Cregger), Theater Viewing Don’t Go In The House
  10. (39) Day Shift (2022, J. J. Perry), Netflix Instant Viewing Vampires
  11. (40) Blood Hook (1986, Jim Mallon), Tubi Killer Fisherman
  12. (41) Peal (2022, Ti West), Theater Viewing Crazy People Prequel
  13. (42) Blades (1989, Thomas R. Rondinella), Peacock/Tubi Killer Lawnmower
  14. (43) Blood Beach (1989, Jeffrey Bloom), YouTube Killer Beach Monster
  15. (44) Cementerio del terror aka Cemetery of Terror (1985, Rubén Galindo Jr.), Shudder Undead Satanic Serial Killer
  16. (44) Abby (1974, William Girdler), YouTube Demonic Blaxploitation
  17. (45) Grave Robbers (1989, Rubén Galindo Jr.), Shudder Demonic
  18. (46) Fright Night Part 2 (1988, Tommy Lee Wallace), YouTube Vampire

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Fear (1996, James Foley)


Ah, young love. It’s great as long as one of them doesn’t take it took far and turn out to be a complete psycho. In the case of Fear, one of those entertaining horror thrillers from the 1990s, the guy is the crazy obsessed one here. Mark Wahlberg plays David, who seems normal and is in love with Nicole, played by Reese Witherspoon. However he quickly reveals his dark side, sweeping her and her family into a nightmare.

William Petersen and Amy Brenneman play her parents, and naturally Peterson as her dad gets bad vibes from meeting David, which Nicole ignores. The movie kind of touches on how people stay in dangerous and abusive relationships because they think the other person loves them anyways. Then it veers back into outlandish thriller territory, particularly with the final act.

Still that last act is pretty entertaining and suspenseful, and the movie has it’s fun share of crazy moments. Wahlberg chews scenery, Witherspoon is very likable and what happens in the end is darkly hilarious to me. I think I’ve seen too many horror movies. This is definitely one, also, going between slasher and crazy people movie all too well.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Sadist (1963, James Landis)


In The Sadist Arch Hall Jr. is a crazed, snarling, psychotic beast of a man bent on destruction and chaos. He is evil personified, not carring who he hurts or murders in the process. This was the earliest take on the famous spree killings committed by Charles Starkweather that gripped the nation in the 1950s. Badlands, Gun Crazy, plus Bonnie and Clyde all come to mind. Yet even though those films were more intelligent than this one I rather liked The Sadist.

This is a movie that keeps things simple, and thus is rather intense for doing so. A trio of teachers make a grave error in stopping at a local scrap yard to fix their car. Immediately a pair of young killers pop up and drag the three into a day long nightmare that they will never forget. Hall commands the screen but I liked the rest of the cast as well, and the movie begs the question of what you would do if you were in that situation. Most likely many of us would die.

Helen Hovey makes for a good final girl, and there is a scene that I’m pretty sure inspired a good creepy part in Friday the 13th Part 2. This film helped to inspire multiple horror cliches, and James Landis manages to capture the terror felt by the teachers. Definitely check this one out.

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: The Lighthouse (2019, Robert Eggers)


Maybe it is because I have spent years working in retail. Perhaps it is also having lived with a roommate for a spell that was as crazy as me. Might have even been crazier. Regardless, even though I wasn’t a big fan of Robert Eggers’ The Witch, I really liked his follow up, The Lighthouse. I am willing to give The Witch another chance, if only because I didn’t quite realize what I was getting into. Honestly I had no idea what The Lighthouse had in store, which is part of the fun. I did see both of Eggers’ movies in theaters, so I clearly am drawn to his unique, bizarre style.

It also helps that both films have good casts. The Lighthouse features Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as two people working on an island. What begins as two men working together descends into madness and leads to events that I am not sure were really happening or not. My favorite thing about this movie is how events spiral out of control. All which happens in the beginning very slowly, and then shockingly quickly.

Oh and Pattison and Dafoe have marvelous chemistry together, acting as if they have done a movie together before when in fact this was their first time working with each other. Eggers uses Pattinson’s smoldering intensity and anger to contrast Dafoe’s older sense of responsibility and steadiness. Naturally both of them crack, yet it seems that Dafoe does first, spewing out a monologue that I wish to memorize.

If you asked me what happens in the end or what the ending meant, I have no idea. I wish to ask Robert Eggers that question. Some aspects of the movie unravel towards the conclusion, however I think I loved this mad tale of two nutters stuck on an island. Tis bad luck to kill a seagull, and to disrespect the ancient elder gods of the deep waters. Also your coworker might be a touch more balmy than you be, aye indeed.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Split (2017, M. Night Shyamalan)


Even though I agree with those who feel that Split is not a realistic potrait of someone with mental illness, as a horror film it works a lot. Shyamalan goes back to what made him an effective director, and I have heard good things about The Visit, as well. James McAvoy is really terrifying in this movie, and Anya Taylor-Joy is a perfect foil for him, particularly for reasons that I cannot spoil in this review. Kevin turns out to be a rather complex and interesting case study, especially since he has multiple personalities living inside his mind.

Due to the film’s run time not all of them are shown, and the ones featured range from harmless to disturbed. Both Kevin’s doctor and Casey, the film’s protagonist, have the misfortune to discover the last hidden identity Kevin has stored away: The Beast. Which leads to a pretty frightening last act and McAvoy doing some excellent acting. He was really perfect for the main role. Taylor-Joy gives a strong, haunted and understated performance in a film that rests on the audience believing this could happen. With Split M. Night reaffirms that he is back to making quality films worth seeing, and I eagerly await Glass, which comes out next year.

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/

Image result for House By The Cemetery gif

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

Image result for Sleepaway Camp 2 gif

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

Image result for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 gif

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/

Get Out (2017, Peele)


WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR GET OUT:

Also this essay is a work in progress and was penned while drinking at my favorite local bar after I saw the movie months ago:

From the very beginning when a black man is afraid to walk the suburbs to the gory and exciting last act, Jordan Peele’s Get Out is an exercise in pure fear. Every once in a while there is a horror film that scares the crap out of me, and 2017 delivers one that should be seen on the big screen. I laughed and then got quiet as a poor black man was knocked out and stuffed into the back of a trunk, while weird southern music played in the background. Cue opening credits. Thanks to Halloween (both versions) and Scream I am terrified of the suburbs. Only this time it’s not one psychopath wearing a mask.

Also don’t forget the liberal racism of white people, although I doubt most of the guests at the dinner party Rose’s creepy white parents throw during the weekend that Chris, her boyfriend, and her decide to visit fit leftist ideals. Upon arriving we get two black servants and a house straight out of any upstanding horror film. This movie has so many references I lost track, although several came to mind: Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, Burnt Offerings and even Funny Games and You’re Next. I think there may even be a little Texas Chainsaw Massacre in that instead of poor redneck cannibals it’s a rich family using black people to keep on living forever, obtaining their strengths. One thing I got out of the dinner party is how secretly cruel and awful elderly people set in racism can be, and that even the one who isn’t apparently racist is in fact just as bad as the rest of them.

Oh and Chris’ buddy, Rod is hilarous yet also makes sense through out the entire film. When he goes to the police it doesn’t matter that they’re minorities, either: his story is dismissed, partly for being crazy but also because cops are worthless in any horror movie. They never believe what is happening, even if presented with evidence. When Chris gets carded by the police and responds with a tired expected compliance, it’s very telling. As is when a cop car pops up later and Chris assumes the hands up position that I’m sure all too many people of color know quite well.

Peele couldn’t have picked a better pair of people to play Rose’s parents. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are a perfect embodiment of white privilege and attempts to convince people they aren’t racist. Although I wonder if they would take anyone who fits their ideal of strength and proper genetics, according to them anyways. Get Out also features their kids carrying on their parent’s heritage of racism, this proving that hoping the younger generation overcomes their parents brand of hate is a foolish notion. If anything the film almost suggests that eliminating white racists is the answer, although I don’t want to read too much into a movie where a man kills someone with deer antlers.

I love the little details in this movie. Someone on Twitter pointed out how Rose refuses to mix her colored cereal with her milk. Her brother sits and pulls a Deliverance, playing some type of guitar while Rose and Chris reenter the mansion shortly before things completely explode. If there is critiques of this movie then it is that I saw the twists coming, although they are fairly telegraphed in the film. I really hope that Jordan Peele makes another film and has a successful career as a director. He has style, ideas and has given the world another great film, not just a horror film but a movie. Might as well cut back on the titles anyways.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Road Games (2015, Abner Pastoll)


Jack (Andrew Simpson) is a down on his luck bloke wandering through the French countryside. After meeting fellow hitchhiker Véronique (Joséphine de La Baume), things get…weird. After all, there is also a serial killer on the loose, plus the duo has run into a strange Frenchman and his American wife (Frédéric Pierrot, Barbara Crampton) in a mansion in the French countryside.

Using the French countryside as a lovely backdrop, Road Games operates as part thriller, part twisty horror flick. It even has an odd torture scene that is remarkable for being light on the pain. It also has a great electronic soundtrack that for some reason it doesn’t use enough. This film is light on subsistence and depends a bit too much on style and some quality momeets. I liked it, but I felt in the hands of someone better it would have been something special.

Darling (2015, Mickey Keating)


When a suspicious elder lady (hey look it’s Sean Young) tells me that the last person she hired met a bad end, it would be enough to make me run the other way. Darling (Lauren Ashley Carter), a young woman, is desperate enough for cash that she ignores the warning and agrees to house sit a freaky house in New York City. Without that you don’t have a movie that is creepy, eerie, and full of surprises. All shot in glorious black and white, and featuring some freaky hallucinatory moments that add to the film.

I also like how tightly paced and well made Darling is, which works to it’s advantage. The film is also divided up into chapters, and manages to pay homage to Roman Polakski’s classic horror films and The Shining. It has a lot in common with a few others but those influences, which the director Mickey Keating builds upon, shape the film while also feature Keating putting his own stamp on the horror genre. The visions are scary and I almost waited until daylight to finish this one. I’m always glad to find a hidden gem during my Horrorfests, and this is one such film.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Session 9 (2001, Brad Anderson)


Like many films set in creepy places, Session 9 is a well made slow burn that gradually builds up to events unforgettable and terrifying. There is one scene that reminds me of The Shining, and another that made me think of The Haunting (1963). Also one scene is a great reminder of why fear of the dark is man’s greatest fear. Brad Anderson turned from romantic comedy to horror with ease, and this is a well assured modern horror classic

Gordon (Peter Mullen) and Phil (David Caruso) are asbestos removal company workers tasked with clearing an insane asylum. The asylum has been closed for years and Gordon, desperate for money, agrees to clean it out in a week. Others employed are Mike, Hank (Josh Lucas) and Jeff, Gordon’s nephew. The asylum is eerie by itself, but coupled with the team members’ fragile emotional states the place becomes a house of horrors, again. The inmates run the place now, it seems.

Aside from the finale, which I was not a fan of, I thought this movie was fantastic. I’m still behind on modern horror and this was a blind spot for me for years. Sometimes it’s good to find a horror film that gives a window into the dark recesses of the human mind and soul.

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