Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001, Sam Irvin)

Unlike her other film, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Elvira’s Haunted Hills plays more as a spoof comedy/loving homage to classic Hollywood horror comedy movies. This is both good and bad, as some of the jokes fail to land and the storyline isn’t as good as her previous film. However I still liked this one anyways, since Elvira is quite funny as usual and has some truly great snappy one liners, which is her main charm and appeal. I’m not sure why Sam Irvin and her decided to make this a period piece movie, yet the castle setting is amusing enough and is good for some funny gags, some witty, some rather dumb. Cassandra Peterson deserved a bigger budget movie, and if it’s true she’s hung up being Elvira for good we may never see her star in one, which would be a shame although there’s still time for that to happen. It’s one major frustrating aspect of horror movies in that so many of them don’t receive the funding they deserve.

Mary Jo Smith is a riot as Elvira’s faithful companion, Richard O’Brien is creepy and weirdly funny as the castle’s owner, and Mary Scheer about steals the movie along with Scott Atkinson, who probably was channeling George Sanders, although according to others it was supposed to be Vincent Price. Either one is good. The final act has a moment that is so funny and awesome it has to be seen to be believed, and I won’t spoiler it. Check this one out, lower expectations a bit, and enjoy Elvira being well, Elvira.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: Village of the Damned (1960, Wolf Rilla)

One thing I enjoy about British horror and sci-fi is how fact of the matter everything is. Oh sure the village is experiencing a weird event where everyone falls asleep, resulting in bizarre pregnancies? Okay we’ll figure it out after tea and crumpets. George Sanders plays the unflappable professor who is faced with the harsh reality that his young son might be an alien; that’s a crushing blow for any parent, but damnit he’s British so he thinks the world of his kid anyways. These children are super creepy-in fact some of them give Damien from The Omen a run for his money. If you anger any of them, the entire collective group will use their super mind powers to kill you in an inventive and horrible way that would make a slasher film screenwriter smile. I loved how smartly made this movie was, how it slowly builds up the creepy atmosphere, and its interesting that this came from MGM and not Hammer Studios, as feels more like a Hammer film instead.

The death scenes are few but they quite stand out: one man is forced to kill himself with his other gun. Another has his own torch turned against him for leading an angry mob against the children. Sanders’ professor and the military are forced to decide what they must do, and this leads to an action that is equally tragic and haunting. Village of the Damned is a 60s classic, showcasing the best of horror and sci-fi, molding together the two genres and giving rise to a near great film. I would like to view both the sequel, Children of the Damned, and the remake, but I doubt either one is as well crafted or as engaging as the original.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑