Horrorfest 2021 Presents: I Bury The Living (1958, Albert Band)


Even though I Bury The Living does not stick the landing with the ending, the rest of the movie is pretty cool. You have Richard Boone playing a businessesman who has to oversee a local cemetery. During his stint as chairman he believes that he possess the ability to cause people to die. That is a good concept for a movie, and to have it be a 1950s movie reminds me that 1950s horror cinema is quite underrated. The black and white cinematography works in this movie’s favor as well, casting shadows and building up the movie’s overall atmosphere.

You have Boone’s Robert slowly falling into despair and insanity as he begins to believe he is the cause of people he knows dying. There is a fantastic scene where he runs among the tombstones that is one of the movie’s highlights. Alas the film’s conclusion is too mundane and a copout that happens too often in older horror movies. I do agree with those who say this is literally a Twilight Zone episode turned into a movie, which is fine.

My final thoughts are that my local community college cable channel used to show I Bury The Living all the time, and yet I never got around to seeing it. Thanks to Tubi I finally did and I’m glad because it is a really good old school horror movie. Richard Bone was a cool actor too by the way, definitely one of the more famous stock character actors of his time.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Blood Quantum (2019, Jeff Barnaby)


Zombie movies are almost played out at this point so it was cool to have one that has American Indians being immune to the zombie plague. The film mostly centers around a family group led by Traylor (Michael Greyeyes) who have to deal with the outside world falling apart, which is typical for the apocalypse. Even though this movie is low budget, it at least has a good concept and a solid cast. At the same time, I felt that the movie didn’t quite go below surface level issues, and it could have been longer, actually. There wasn’t enough time to further explore the fact that in this movie, the people who regulated the tribe to the reservation were the ones getting sick instead, which is a bleak irony considering that Europeans spread diseases to the American Indians and other native tribes when they invaded.

Oh and the Lysol subplot is mostly just the movie serving up a villain who puts forth beliefs the audience can argue over. I will admit this element did leave me thinking about the movie after it ended, yet at the same time the movie didn’t need someone willing to kill survivors based on extremist beliefs. I got enough out of the whole population control thing from the last two Avengers movies. Despite that I still liked this movie, even though the ending wasn’t really an ending. Too many horror movies do that sort of thing, and most of the time it causes me to roll my eyes.

Actually the more I think about this movie, the less I like it. It took me two days to finish it, and this is one of those films where those involved, the concept and the themes warranted a higher budget. I gave it an 7/10, all of my ratings are inflated anyways and there are just some movies I don’t feel like reviewing. The grandpa was pretty badass, though: he wielded a katana during the whole movie.

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: Sting of Death (1966, William Grefé)


So yes I did a double bill of William Grefé, enabled by Tubi. I really need to get my hands on that Arrow Video boxset of his films, even though I’ve now seen two of them. However I liked Sting of Death, too so that bodes well. It’s a little less goofy than the Tartu flick, although it does have another wonderfully cheesy dance scene although this one makes sense. It happens at a pool party, after all.

A giant killer jellyfish man or creature is horribly murdering people in the Everglades. Two scientists try to figure out what is happening, and without saying more this movie ventures into mad scientist territory. While also being a slasher film of sorts, which is note worthy considering this movie was made in the 1960s.

There is a pool attack scene that is parts hilarious and actually neat at the same time. My favorite thing about this movie is that Grefé sticks to his guns and makes a flick born for the drive in movie viewing experience. Sometimes that’s enough as far as cinema is concerned. This movie also has one of the best boat massacres ever, right up there with the one from The Burning, in fact.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Death Curse of Tartu (1966, William Grefé)


One William Grefé decided to make low budget B style exploitation movies in Florida. Death Curse of Tartu is one of those, and despite it being really goofy I liked it. Is it a great flick? Nah, yet it is fun to watch. I mean a group of people wander into the Everglades and awaken the vengeful spirit of Tartu, who proceeds to murder all of them with nature.

Yep this is equal parts slasher movie, ancient evil movie, and later on action adventure. Is there dancing randomly at some point? Yes. Are the killer animal moments ridiculous yet entertaining? Absolutely. You either give into a movie like this one or you think it’s really stupid. I fall a little in-between, yet I still give this movie a favorable rating anyways.

Mr. Grefé would have been right at home with Hammer Studios, and he’s one of the many American directors I wish has been able to work for that studio. Also I’ll never been able to forget the name “Tartu,” ever.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The Brain Eaters (1958, Bruno VeSota)


Sure 1950s cinema mostly featured sci-fi instead of horror movies, yet horror still managed to survive through efforts such as The Brain Eaters. This is a goofy yet well made B-movie that I enjoyed, mostly because it takes itself seriously enough to work. Also brain parasites from outer space is freaky enough, mixed in with of course some light Cold War commentary.

Once those space aliens grab onto your brain, they don’t let go and they take over your actions. There’s a cool scene where the film’s heroes realize that their communications are cut off, and also the finale is pretty entertaining. Other 1950s sci-fi horror movies may be better or smarter, yet The Brain Eaters is still a reliable and fun movie from the old school era of the genre.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Mohawk (2017, Ted Geoghegan)


Mohawk reflects the violent early 1800s era, where a circle of bloodshed and tragedy remains unbroken. Although the film merely scratches the surface of it’s themes and politics, it is still well made and has some really unflinching moments. The final act dived heavily into the supernatural, and Mohawk goes from being a simple survival movie to one depicting a reckoning of sorts.

Okwaho (Oak, played by Kaniehtiio Horn) is forced to go on the run with her two lovers (Justin Rain and Eamon Farren) after one of them commits a savage act of murder and violence. Pursued by a group of soldiers led by the sadistic Holt (Ezra Buzzington), events spiral out of control and result in a final battle that is really brutal. The forrest shots are gorgeous and even though the camera work is low budget I didn’t really mind.

I admire this movie for being about the Mohawk tribe, and for it existing as the kind of horror tale that would be perfect for a campfire. The savagery of man is laid bare here for all to see, and the spirit of nature and the dead sees fit to dish out appropriate means of retribution.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Chillerama (2011, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, Adam Green, Joe Lynch)


Chillerama is a dumb, mostly amusing and decent enough send up of old school horror movies. This anthology flick opens with a guy’s dick being chomped on by his undead wife. He then shows up to work at a drive in movie theater showing a bunch of horror movies on it’s final day. If this isn’t the obvious wrap around story to you, it will be midway through. Or you haven’t seen enough movies.

We begin with Wadzilla, a fairly solid mocking of 1950s and 1960s monster flicks. Ray Wise’s doctor is responsible for a man’s sperm turning into a huge creature with teeth that eats people. This is mostly funny and also really gross, particularly in one scene where the poor guy’s blind date almost gets eaten by the monster! If there was one that could be a full length movie while also thankfully being a segment in this movie, it was Wadzilla. If this movie seems obsessed with disgusting moments that cross the lines of good taste, well guilty as charged.

I Was a Teenage Werebear is actually more funnier now I think about it, and it makes fun of movies that I’m not really a big fan of, although I did like Rebel Without a Cause. The songs were actually catchy in this one, and the final act is both outlandish and rather groovy. Also the coach got eaten! Or ripped apart, anyways. So much gore in this one. Lin Shaye makes an appearance in this one, making fun of the stereotypical gipsy woman in werewolf and horror movies.

The Diary of Anne Frankenstein is in really poor taste, although Joel David Moore mocking Hitler works, I guess. This was my least favorite one of the bunch and is thankfully not very long, as the material is rather thin. Legendary Jason actor Kane Hodder pops up as the monster Adolf brings to life, only to bring retribution down upon the Nazi leader.

The wrap around, Zom-B-Movie, is fun and enjoyable mostly because it has zombies and Richard Riehle kicking zombie ass the only way he knows how: with lots of guns. Kaili Thorne was a good final girl, too. Clearly this was made for die hard horror movie fans and those of us that don’t mind a little disgusting humor. Especially considering one short flick is literally a movie about people pooping, which was not very funny. I’m too old for poop jokes, I guess.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The Pale Door (2020, Aaron B. Koontz)


Even though I’ve seen better horror westerns, I still liked The Pale Door. The outlaws in this movie are likable enough, and although this film opens slowly things escalate pretty quickly by the film’s middle part. These gunslingers find out only too late that they ended up in a town full of witches.

Jake and Duncan are brothers who after a train robbery are forced along with the gang they’re with to exchange a girl for medical help. The movie goes from being a western to a horror movie, much like how From Dusk Till Dawn made that transition from action flick to vampire movie. Stan Shaw is also in this movie as Lester, the brothers’ de facto father figure, as well as Bill Sage, who’s Dodd is the gang’s main tough guy.

Even though parts of The Pale Door aren’t quite as effective as I would have preferred, certain other elements work quite well. The witches look pretty cool and the gunplay is well done. Also the finale act is not boring and there are some nice eerie moments. I’m not the biggest fan of witch movies so this one of the few I’ve enjoyed so far.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The Dead Pit (1989, Brett Leonard)


This randomly popped up on Shudder and so I decided to check out The Dead Pit, a late 1980s horror movie. This flick is a much a supernatural Americanized giallo as it is a slasher movie. These blending of elements work in the film’s favor, as does it’s likable main characters. The Dead Pit isn’t a great film, however it is very well paced and is very satisfying. The asylum setting is pretty good, and is very unnerving. The entire movie is appropriately bleak.

The Jane Doe, played by Cheryl Lawson, arrives at an old crumbling asylum with amnesia. Aided by a fellow patient, Chris (Stephen Gregory Foster), she tries to uncover the mystery of her memory loss. I liked how this movie was shot, using lots of green and building up a general sense of menace, hinting at nasty, dark hidden secrets.

Danny Gochnauer is fantastic as Dr. Ramzi, the movie’s evil sadistic villain, matched by Jeremy Slate as  Dr. Gerald Swan. The finale even goes full blown Fulci with the undead, which is cool. Chris is one of those awesome secondary movie characters, and Lawson is a good sympathetic main character. Check this flick out on Shudder while you still can.

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