Horrorfest 2022 Presents: The House of Seven Corpses (1973, Paul Harrison)


I’m not sure if The House of Seven Corpses is a really early example of a meta style horror movie, yet this one doesn’t seem to fully commit to the idea. Maybe it was lack of money, talent or style, yet Paul Harrison’s movie is pretty tame and fails to offer any scares. I did like the zombie aspect, yet the movie only features that way too late for such events to make a sizable impact. I didn’t hate this movie, but I didn’t really like it either, so it rests in that 50-60s out of 100 score that I’ve given forgettable movies that fade away in my brain. If it wasn’t for blogs and movie logging websites I would probably forget I had even watched movies such as this one, and that’s the worst offense a movie can commit: to be pedestrian, lackadaisical. John Carradine stars in this movie, yet even can’t rescue this one, and the movie manages to waste him in a thankless old man role.

I will admit I did like the ending, although the overall conclusion doesn’t really make sense. The opening part of the film is excellent, and it’s all downhill from there, which is rather disappointing. I guess the only reason I’m glad I saw this is that it’s probably another movie that inspired Edgar Wright’s hilarious fake trailer spoof of British and American horror movies, Don’t! That’s about it, and I’m glad I saw this for free on Tubi because if I had paid to view this in theaters I would have been rather annoyed.

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: Color Me Blood Red (1965, Herschell Gordon Lewis)


Even though A Bucket of Blood is the better artist kills people for art movie, I still found some merits in Color Me Blood Red. Also Herschell Gordon Lewis’ mad artist is different in that he’s not some struggling Bohemian despite for money. He has a house, he’s successfully sold art before, he’s just in a rut and can’t conjure up the right shade of red for his artwork no matter what he tries. Fate or the Devil intervenes in a horrible, evil way that leads him down the path of murder and destructive behavior. Unfortunately too much of the picture moves really slow, and Lewis has given us better, more interesting gory movies than this one. I was a bit disappointed here actually, having actually liked Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs!.

Gordon Oas-Heim is pretty good in this movie as Adam, the titular maniac, and he helps keep the movie watchable. There is a great lake kill sequence that is one of the movie’s highlights, and the finale at least aims for suspenseful, yet there isn’t much to recommend here. I’m reminded that when it comes to randomly viewing movies on Tubi you’re bound to find some duds as well as some treasures. I guess I gave this movie what could be considered a passing grade, yet I’m left rather unsatisfied at the results.

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Blood For Dracula (1974, Paul Morrissey)


Udo Kier hams it up as Dracula in Paul Morrissey’s outlandish and very gory camp filled cult flick Blood For Dracula, which is definitely a unique take on the old legend. This wasn’t a particularly good movie yet I still oddly liked it anyways and I enjoyed the movie’s wilder aspects. I mean how can one not laugh at Dracula puking up blood simply because he can’t get virgin blood. That part is both grotesque, campy and fits the movie all too well.

Plus Morrissey even throws in a neat commentary about Dracula being the aristocracy verus the Marxist manservant Mario (Joe Dallesandro). The final act is utterly frantic and properly gory for a vampire movie. Parts of this movie felt like a softcore porno flick, the rest is Euro style horror trash that is passable enough entertainment. Definitely not like the other vampire movies from this era, that’s for sure.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The Convent (2000, Mike Mendez)


Despite being a low budget horror movie that didn’t even make it to theaters, The Convent is a fun early 2000s horror movie that I really enjoyed. Also it has some good freaky moments and seems to be both a mix of different horror movies and it’s own, unique take on the demonic nun genre. Plus you sort of care about the characters in this one, and the movie handles it’s business and quits while it’s ahead, which is smart.

Adrienne Barbeau headlines a cast of people I’ve never heard of, plus Coolio and Bill Moseley in smaller roles. The kills in this flick are pretty gnarly, and there is even some funny moments that sometimes work. Despite being fairly cheesy, this movie is wonderfully goofy in a that good cult movie way. I don’t think they could really make a movie like this now, especially since parts of the film reminded me more of 1980s and 1990s horror. 1990s horror really hasn’t inspired too many imitators, although perhaps it just doesn’t have the nostalgia factor of previous decades. Give it time though I’m sure it will happen.

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: Vamp (1986, Richard Wenk)


Richard Wenk’s Vamp begins as a cheesy 1980s college comedy and ends with college comedy horror comedy. I gotta admire a man devoted to achieving his goals, I suppose. The young cast is likable enough however one views this movie for Grace Jones, who’s definitely more talented than everyone else involved. This is a major flaw of the movie that never gets corrected.

Plus for a film titled “Vamp” the vampires take quite a while to finally show up. If vampires in a strip club sounds familiar then like myself and others you recognize that From Dusk Till Dawn took that bit from this movie. Yet that’s a much better film than this one, although one can attribute that to the high level of talent involved. I enjoyed Vamp-Chris Makepeace and Dedee Pfeiffer do have some nice chemistry together. Robert Rusler as the friend who drags both Makepeace and literal horror movie stereotype Gedde Watanabe into this whole mess probably should have been the main character instead, though. He’s way cooler.

Sure Billy Drago is in this and yet he’s not a vampire which is a wasted opportunity. The man is great at playing sinister menacing characters yet gets stuck as a random gang member. Lame. The finale does have some quality practical special effects moments and it was clear that Wenk in some ways planned for a sequel which never happened. Either you’ll find this goofy movie very charming or think it is very dumb. As for me, I thought it was merely decent or ok at best which is enough.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Hellmaster (1992, Douglas Shulze)


Poor John Saxon really needed a quick paycheck and this appeared in Hellmaster, a prime argument for those who dislike 1990s horror movies. I’ve often defended the decade, yet this flick is just awful in a hilariously inept way that must be viewed for one to believe. The characters in this flick not only fully embrace terrible decision making, they also have dialogue so bland even I couldn’t ignore it. I can envision someone finding Hellmaster at the local video store back then, renting it and wanting their money back soon afterwards.

This movie even has a halfway ok plot, yet the movie never fully realizes that potential. There are some good creepy moments, yet they are lost in the film’s inability to not swerve from scary to camp, often in the same scene. Pick a lane, movie. I already don’t recall the final woman, or why she takes the superman drug yet is perfectly fine while others mutate. There’s no logic in this movie, even by horror movie standards. I could see Netflix remaking Hellmaster and creating their own terrible mess in the process.

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 2021 Presents: Def By Temptation (1990, James Bond III)


Despite being a low budget 1990s horror film, Def By Temptation was very well made and maybe even great at times. I liked this one a lot, and I think it would pair very well with something like Candyman or perhaps something late 1980s such as The Serpent and the Rainbow. The only thing is the film’s villain reminded me of a vampire than a succubus, although perhaps my knowledge of them is based off the fun show Lost Girl.

Joel, haunted by his dead father (Samuel L. Jackson in a cameo role) decides to visit his old friend K (Kadeem Hardison). Normally having the director play the main role might result in a mixed bag performance, yet James Bond III is actually great as Joel. He seems sympathetic and determined to succeed as a minister, to grow as a person. Too bad he runs into Cynthia Bond’s unamed demon.

The demonic kill scenes are both freaky and quite bloody, and Cynthia Bond is terrifying and captivating as the main villain. Any movie that has Bill Nunn is usually worth seeing, and I enjoyed his character and K teaming up to take down the succubus. My favorite part had to be the bar scene where the woman gets a holy water bloody Mary. Boy did that cause literal sparks to fly!

While the final act seems to feel a tad rushed, this movie works as a waking nightmare, literally in the scene where Joel runs through the streets in terror. I do want to see this movie again, and I think one could easily write more about it and how it fits into modern horror cinema’s take on black culture. Even if the title is a bit goofy, which I still don’t mind because it works.

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