Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Subspecies (1991, Ted Nicolaou)


Knowing Full Moon Features more than I did before this Horrorfest, I went into Subspecies with some low expectations. Yet I ended up liking this film even though it’s budget limitations were obvious. However I liked the cast and the acting was much better than your average director to video movie. Oh and having a vampire movie set in Transylvanian and shot in Romania is pretty wicked.

A group of American college students end up in the middle of one those ancient wars between a good and evil pair of siblings that is a staple of many a horror or fantasy movie. Does this lead to some really weird moments involving a blood stone and little monster creatures? Yes. Is there a sword fight later on? Absolutely. I liked that an old guy decided to load a shotgun with rosemary beads.

Once again I watched another movie that was turned into a franchise, which seems to happen with horror movies a lot. I doubt I’ll watch the sequels, but Subspecies did have a nice love subplot that is better than anything in Twilight. That’s for sure. I finally realized last year that all the direct to video movies end up on RedBox or streaming services these days, and so thanks to Tubi I can enjoy tons of Full Moon Features online instead of via the video rental store.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Pit & the Pendulum (1991, Stuart Gordon)


Look I didn’t hate Stuart Gordon’s take on the Edgar Allan Poe classic story, mostly because it is more close to the original tale than some of the other adaptations. My problem is that the 1960s version with Vincent Price is so cool this one feels unnecessary. Lance Henriksen hams it up so much that he manages to overshadow the rest of the cast. It was odd seeing Jeffrey Combs being the straight man in this flick, and I chuckled when he apologized to a witch for not having time to torture her properly. After all, no torture, no confession and then the Inquisition looks bad or something.

The other problem with this film is that the leads are really bland and I didn’t care about them at all. Oh and Oliver Reed pops up for a short cameo because he probably had nothing better to do. I gave this film a passing grade because the sword fights were neat and it does somewhat cover the horrors of the time period. Coming from a good director like Gordon it is disappointing yet I still have liked the other ones I’ve seen from him so far.

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.

2016 Horrorfest Presents: Puppet Master (1989, David Schmoeller)


Every franchise has its humble origins somewhere, and in this case Puppet Master was born out of a studio’s need to make a low budget direct to video success. These days movies are even released on Netflix and other streaming services instead of in the studio, but in the 1980s direct to video was emerging as another way for horror filmmakers to get their movies out to the general public. Schmoller’s iconic cult film spawned 12 sequels and is a fairly solid, nasty and entertaining piece of work in its own right. I have no idea if I want to view the rest of the series, however I am endlessly amused by Hollywood’s desire to make endless franchises out of just about anything that makes money. Andre’ Toulon is shown in this one, however its only in a flashback that illustrating his ability to give puppets life. If you, like myself, find puppets to be creepy then this is a terrifying possibility, and the film eagerly builds upon the fear that many people have of wooden dolls scurrying around.

Years after poor Andre’ offs himself to prevent Nazis from gaining his ancient secret, a group of psychics show up at an old hotel. They’ve been brought together by the suicide of a colleague who they suspect discovered Toulon’s puppet formula. Unfortunately for them, Toulon’s old puppets are still wandering around, and everyone there is in grave danger. I rather liked the design of all of the puppets, each of them unique in their own ways. Blade is probably the most famous of the group, and is the puppet group’s leader. Despite being low budget the movie has some gory kills and a finale that is equal parts suspenseful and rather violent. I also liked the main character, Alex (Paul Le Mat), who is prone to nightmarish visions which are also some of the film’s creepy highlights. Even though the movie isn’t well shot I still liked this film, and am glad that Hulu had it at the time, and its design and conception reminds me more of 1990s horror films in that the genre was beginning to go more underground.

Horrorfest 2016: A New Beginning


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Hey buddy

Okay so at this point I’m just ripping off titles from the Friday the 13th series. Besides any good horror fan knows never to trust a franchise that promises the next installment is the “Last one, the final chapter, the main bad guy is finally dead!, etc.” I also am using this title because this year I’ve decided not to make any pre-viewing list this time. Instead I am just listing all of the movies I actually bother to watch from August to October, plus the few movies I usually grab to kick things off with. Reviews will still be posted, although they may be even more half-assed than normal. To the few readers of this blog I have a 40 hour a week job and thus don’t have the time I used to have to watch a million things. Plus I blame peak TV widely available online for a decrease in movie viewing. Enjoy regardless, and I hope to try and see more horror that I haven’t yet fully explored.

Alright so this concludes Horrorfest 2016. I have finally six months later reviewed every movie I viewed during a three month period. Here is my Top 10 List just because I only saw 40 movies:

  1. We Are Still Here (2015, Geoghegan)-95
  2. Spoorloos (1988, Sluizer)-95
  3. Session 9 (2001, Anderson)-95
  4. Dale & Tucker Vs Evil (2010, Craig)-95
  5. The Fury (1978, De Palma)-94
  6. Insidious (2010, Wan)-93, Family Video
  7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990, Lyne)-93
  8. Hush (2016, Flanagan)-92
  9. The Others (2001, Amenábar)-91
  10. They Look Like People (2015, Blackshear)-90

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WAZZZZZZZZUUUUUPPP!

1. Splatter (2009, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-splatter-2009-joe-dante/
2. Crimson Peak (2015, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/horrorfest-2016-presents-crimson-peak-2015-guillermo-del-toro/
3. Coma (1978, Medical)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-coma-1978-michael-crichton/
4. The Old Dark House (1932, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-old-dark-house-1932-james-whale/
5. Murder Party (2007, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/horrorfest-2016-presents-murder-party-2007-jeremy-saulnier/
6. Jacob’s Ladder (1990, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/horrorfest-presents-jacobs-ladder-1990-adrian-lyne/
7. Hostel (2005, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/horrorfest-2016-presents-hostel-2005-eli-roth/
8. Insidious (2010, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/horrorfest-2016-presents-insidious-2010-james-wan/
9. Session 9 (2001, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/horrorfest-2016-presents-session-9-2001-brad-anderson/
10. The Cars That Ate Paris (1974, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-cars-that-ate-paris-1974-peter-weir/

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He just wants to be your friend…

11. Byzantium (2013, Vampires)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/horrorfest-2016-presents-byzantium-2013-neil-jordan/
12. Castle Freak (1995, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-castle-freak-1995-stuart-gordon/
13. Darling (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/darling-2015-mickey-keating/
14. The Others (2001, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-others-2001-alejandro-amenabar/
15. Goosebumps (2015, Monsters)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/horrorfest-2016-presents-goosebumps-2015-rob-letterman/
16. Curse of Chucky (2013. Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/horrorfest-2016-presents-curse-of-chucky-2013-don-mancini/
17. Holidays (2016, Anthology)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/horrorfest-2016-presents-holidays-2016-kevin-smith-gary-shore-matt-johnson-scott-stewart-nicholas-mccarthy-dennis-widmyer-kevin-kolsch-sarah-adina-smith-anthony-scott-burns/
18. The Hole (2009, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-hole-2009-joe-dante/
19. Demons (1985, Demons)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/horrorfest-2016-presents-demons-1985-lamberto-bava
20. Hush (2016, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/horrorfest-2016-presents-hush-2016-mike-flanagan/

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It’s a rock band yeah!

21. They Look Like People (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/horrorfest-2016-presents-they-look-like-people-2015-perry-blackshear/
22. The Sacrament (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/7750/
23. We Are Still Here (2015, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/horrorfest-2016-presents-we-are-still-here-2015-ted-geoghegan/
24. The Hallow (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-hallow-2015-corin-hardy/
25. Road Games (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/horrorfest-2016-presents-road-games-2015-abner-pastoll/
26. The Invitation (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/the-invitation-2015-karyn-kusama/
27. They’re Watching (2016, Witches)-https://wordpress.com/posts/drafts/madman731.wordpress.com
28. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962, Mad Scientist)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-brain-that-wouldnt-die-1962-joseph-green/
29. Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010, Slasher)-http://wp.me/pRBID-22W
30. Puppet Master (1989, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/2016-horrorfest-presents-puppet-master-1989-david-schmoeller/

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Yeah? Who you calling psycho?

31. Genocide (1967, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/horrorfest-2016-presents-genocide-1967-kazui-nihonmats/
32. The Fury (1978, Psychic People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-fury-1978-brian-de-palma/
33. The Traveler (2010, Slasher)- https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-traveler-2010-michael-oblowitz/
34. The House On Sorority Row (1983, Slasher)- https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-house-on-sorority-row-1983-mark-rosman/
35. Bad Milo (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/horrorfest-2016-presents-bad-milo-2015-jacob-vaughan/
36. Stung (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/?p=8218
37. Wyrmwood (2014, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-wyrmwood-2014-kiah-roache-turner/
38. Grizzly (1976, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-grizzly-1976-william-girdler/?preview_id=8270&preview_nonce=6713d40f1d
39. Spoorloos (1988, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/horrorfest-2016-presents-spoorloos-1988-george-sluizer/
40. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/horrorfest-2016-presents-scouts-guide-to-the-zombie-apocalypse-2015-christopher-b-landon/?preview_id=8331&preview_nonce=5cfb8ce467

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