Horrorfest 2020 Presents: American Gothic (1988, John Hough)


American Gothic is a dumb, brutal, nasty movie that has a bunch of characters who exist to die horribly. Rod Steiger and Yvonne De Carlo did this movie for the money, and Michael J. Pollard is in this too because why not? Might as well have a trio of distinguished actors stuck in what was mostly likely a low budget production. However, the last act is more interesting than the entire rest of the movie, and Steiger does give a good performance.

Sarah Torgov was a solid final girl, too, and she manages to turn the tables on her captors. I didn’t hate this movie, however it is not a particularly good slasher film. American Gothic is mostly an ok film at best, and I think that seems to be true for way too many movies in general. I sure watch a lot of forgettable movies every year.

Horrorfest 2019/It’s Hammer Time Presents: Twins of Evil (1972, John Hough)


Twins of Evil has a few things in it’s favor, most notably Peter Cushing being Peter Cushing, although in this Peter Cushing is burning women alive after accusing them of being witches, and not trying to kill Dracula or bring monsters to life. The real hero of this movie is a guy named Anton, which is an odd name for a good guy in this type of movie. Also this is part of a series of films surrounding the evil Karnstein family, who are all vampires one way or another and love to serve the Devil. Because I guess that is what you do in these movies if you are rich and love to conduct human sacrifices in your creepy old castle. Plus this film has a pair of twins, one who is good and the other who is naughty, and if you think the film makes you guess which one is which at one point, well have a cookie and a gold star.

Having Mary Collinson and Madeleine Collison, real life twins, actually play twins is a nice touch, and I liked how John Hough provides the usual mayhem and sexuality that most Hammer films were known for by the 1970s. Also the Karnstein family series breathed new life into Hammer and gave them a bit of a short reprieve that unfortunately was short lived. I dug some of the wonderfully outrageous one liners (Peter Cushing actually utters “They have brought me twins of evil!” while keeping a straight face), and Hough delivers a solid flick that is never boring. Recommended even though it falls short of being as good as The Vampire Lovers or some of the best Dracula entries.

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