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: Turkey Shoot (1982, Brian Trenchard-Smith)


The Aussies are pretty good at making their own brand of apocalyptic dystopia movies and Turkey Shoot is one of those movies. Brian Trenchard-Smith does a fine job of creating a movie that is equal parts sci-fi, action and horror movie. With plenty of yellow jumpsuits, of course. Steve Railsback and Olivia Hussey star as two people struggling to stay alive at one of those ruthless concentration camps that mirrors ones from fascist regimes in real life.

This one is a re-education camp, yet the leaders have decided to select a small group and hunt for sport. This is very The Most Dangerous Game and predates Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, of course. Sure Turkey Shoot, also known as Escape 2000, is one of those cheesy 1980s violent cult films that people still talk about. And with good reason-it has no qualms about who lives or dies, and it’s subject matter is not too far out of the realm of modern possibility.

Did I think this was a great movie? No, yet I’m glad I still watched it. Too bad the budget restrictions limited the film quite a bit, and yet despite those Turkey Shoot is a good and horrifying movie. We can dream of a Star Trek style future, yet more than likely something as nasty as Turkey Shoot is more plausible to me knowing human nature. I don’t know what color the jumpsuits will be, though.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Frankenhooker (1990, Frank Henenlotter)


James Lorinz may be the main character of Frankenhooker, yet Patty Mullen is the real star of the film. When Lorinz’s maniac and wacky amateur scientist Jeffrey revives his dead girlfriend, Elizabeth, the movie really changes into a different and very amusing, gear.

However what occurs before all that is also insane, outrageous and very much in a spirit of a movie like this one. Frank Henenlotter, responsible for the also entertaining and pretty far out movies Basketcase and Brain Damage gives us in Frankenhooker another fun, gory and quite adult movie. Which is why I like all of those films I’ve seen from him so far, especially since these days PG-13 horror seems more the norm.

If you want to see exploding hookers, this is your kind of movie. If a horrific lawnmower accident either makes you laugh or wonder why it’s not even more violent, this is a movie for you. I didn’t think it was a great film, still I was engaged and I even laughed at times. This is definitely not your average movie, and in this case that’s a good thing.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Here Comes Hell (2019, Jack McHenry)


Before anyone pounces on me, I wanted to really like Here Comes Hell. The title is neat, the trailer made it seem fun, yet it took me almost a week to muster the effort to finish the movie. Here Comes Hell is not a bad movie, yet I cannot recommend the film to people. I am very disappointed, especially since whenever I discover a quality low budget cult film I eagerly sing its praises.

I did like the cast, and the actors give it their best shot. The film takes way too damn long to get going considering the short run time, and each reference or homage just made me wish I was viewing that movie instead. It does not help that Ready or Not came out the same year and does what this movie wanted to do much better. Not to mention The Lighthouse was a far superior tribute to classic early half century horror, as well. Also from the same year. Yes I know both had bigger budgets, still that didn’t stop a lot of great horror movies in the past.

Jessica Webber was likable enough in the main role, yet I feel that Margaret Clunie as the sister of the man responsible for the events of the film had better screen presence and would have made more sense as the lead final girl. Oh and Tom Bailey from The Thompson Twins is in this movie and is the only male character I even remotely cared about or liked. Skip this, watch the original The Old Dark House instead.

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: All The Colors of the Dark (1972, Sergio Martino)


Edwige Fenech has that wide eyed, haunted look down pat, and she channels her character’s nightmarish journey in Sergio Martino’s cult film All The Colors of the Dark. One thing I liked about this movie is how you are not sure if anything is real, if Fenech’s Jane is going mad or if she is falling prey to evil. Martino clearly has an eye for visuals and he also is able to craft a film that has a high level of strange, the eerie just dwelling beneath the surface of what appears to be reality. There is a reason I enjoy giallos so much: they feature stylized violence but also make the viewer pay attention by offering up scenes that are engaging even if they do not add to the film’s overall plot. Well that and they have scenes that sometimes do not make any sense.

Despite being a tad dull at times I really enjoyed this movie, and I think another viewing is in order to discuss it’s twists and turns. Midway through the movie goes down a strange and rewarding path, and the ending was nicely done if a bit expected. I got some Rosemary’s Baby vibes, however I was also reminded of the belief that if it happens in a dream, it can happen in real life. While I don’t believe that, I often wonder if perhaps I am mistaken. Is it a nightmare if you are wide awake and it is happening before your very eyes? Are we doomed to create new mistakes that echo those of the past? And why in horror movies is it often always fall weather? Watch this movie and find out. Maybe.

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: I Drink Your Blood (1970, David E. Durston)


I Drink Your Blood is the kind of cheesy 1970s explotation title I expected from a low budget 1970s horror movie. Yet I ended up really liking this cheesy, gory, violent and even kind of fun low budget 1970s horror movie. It even may have inspired other later, better made horror movies. Having rabid zombies attack the living because a kid tried to get revenge on evil hippies is the type of movie I can enjoy.

Evil hippies turn into murderous zombie monsters because they raped a kid’s sister and beat up his grandpa. The small town ends up being overrun by killer people infected by rabies, driven to harm the innocent. I found out about I Drink Your Blood thanks to Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell, another fun cult movie that celebrates fun cult movies. This flick has decent characters, plenty of old fashioned mayhem and is even shocking at times. 8.5 out of 10, check it out as good ole Joe Bob Briggs likes to say.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986, Tobe Hooper)


My Halloween night was rather busy for someone who decided to stay in. I watched a couple flicks to start the day, then began drinking around 4 or 5. I spent a couple hours handing out candy to a bunch of trick or treaters until 8:30, while also viewing Hot Fuzz with a friend who had never seen it before. So when I made it upstairs to watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, I was tired and ready to pass out, which I did. Only to wake up at 2 in the morning annoyed and thirsty. I grabbed some brews and put on my copy of Tobe Hooper’s cult classic sequel, which I found on blu ray at Best Buy earlier that month, and hit play.

Although this flick does not live up to the original classic, it is still a fun gory time. Dennis Hopper is an excellent choice as Lefty, the Texas lawman who desires revenge against the infamous Sawyer clan. Aiding him is rock DJ Vanita, played by the awesome Caroline Williams. However Bill Moseley steals the movie as Brick Top, in an equal parts creepy and funny performance. It also helps that Hooper came back to helm this one, as it follows the events of the original a decade later. 

Thus my Horrorfest was concluded with a good solid slasher film, which is fitting considering how much I love the genre at this point. Also all of my four Halloween viewings were physical media ones, in contrast to my usual large use of streaming these days. Check out TCM 2, a late happy Halloween to all, and a see you all for Horrorfest 2019.

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.

MonsterVision Lives


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Those poor kids today have no idea what it was like to have to use cable and local TV to see many cult films that never came to their area. Or enjoy drive in’s, something I have never been fortunate to expirence. Well for us who were around for the 1990s Joe Bob Briggs was the guide to numerous low budget cult classics every week on TNT’s MonsterVision. Even though there were commercials and some questionable footage had to be cut (often for time) there were also Drive-In totals, great trivia bits, and Briggs’ snappy commentary.

So when years after TNT axed MonsterVision, all of us fans were excited to hear that the streaming service Shudder had convinced Briggs to do one last (hopefully not) Drive In marathon show. Fittingly called The Last Drive-In, this was to be a 24 hour marathon hosted on Shudder from Friday night to Saturday night. This was a great idea, one that would allow us fans to also comment on Twitter during the marathon. In fact, I wrote this while enjoying one of the films shown, the freaky 1987 classic Hellraiser. Plus getting retweeted by Briggs on Twitter in real time is cool, a nice byproduct of social media.

Despite some issues with my Roku player and the Shudder app (something everyone else experienced) this was a success. Clearly the fans of Briggs still heavily exist, and the “Hey we broke Shudder” jokes were amusing despite having to deal with streaming issues. However it was all worth it, just to see Joe Bob Briggs on TV doing his thing all over again. I am glad that Ted Turner and overworked servers could not stop JBB from doing what he does best: introduce us to fun and interesting cinema. Joe Bob Briggs forever, indeed.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010, Eli Craig)


What if all those times people faced hillbillies and thought said hillbillies to be evil they were misguided? Maybe it’s all one huge misunderstanding and if both sides talked to one another they would clean up matters before anyone gets hurt. Unfortunately that does not happen in the outrageously funny horror movie Tucker & Dale Vs Evil, a modern day cult classic which makes us root for a pair of guys who in any other movie would be the villians.

Tucker and Dale are simple country buddies who go out to fix up a cabin in the woods. Having never seen any horror movies and having already frightened a group of college students also on site, Tucker and Dale get sucked into a weekend from hell. They innocently save a drowning girl named Allison, only to face her friends who think she has been kidnapped. This leads to many hilarious and very gory moments, of which my favorite was the best woodchipper joke since Fargo. 

The last act manages to be even more ridiculously awesome, and a few notable flaws aside this movie rules. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk have great chemistry together as the two leads and Katrina Bowden is very likable as Allison. Too bad this film suffered the fate of too many great cult movies that were ahead of their time. Especially since this one came out before The Cabin In The Woods, another funny and great spin on the horror genre. Remember folks: maybe next time that chainsaw wielding guy might be cleaning trees around his cabin. Maybe. Or he might be coming to kill you. I really don’t know these days.

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