Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Alice, Sweet Alice (1976, Alfred Sole)


The late Alfred Sole gave us one of the more underrated and chilling 1970s slasher cult classics in Alice, Sweet Alice, which has a memorable killer outfit, gruesome murders and a pretty surprising finale even by 1970s standards. The movie is very grounded in the Catholic religion, and thus religious themes of guilt, murder, sex and punishment are all depicted in very strong fashion. I’ll never forget the eerie mask that the killer wears the entire movie, or how many of the film’s victims meet their own ends. If there was ever a movie to cause the viewer to fear or distrust anyone donning a yellow raincoat, it would be this movie.

Young Alice (Paula E. Sheppard) is part of a family where the mother is divorced; she is jealous of her sister (Brooke Shields in an early role) and loathes some of the tenants of the building she lives in, although one who attempts to molest her definitely warrants such hate. Whether or not she is guilty of the murders that start to occur from the earliest scene onward remains to be seen, and the movie operates as an American style giallo and a slasher movie. The ending is quite chilling and very shocking, and there is one death by falling that forever sticks out in my mind as well for being rather unexpected.

One thing I really love about this movie is how even though it is low budget the cinematography is still quite good, and the direction and pacing work very well. Never once was I bored, and Sole gives you reason to notice and care about the characters, even the more nasty ones. The film has an appropriate body count for maximum effect, and I really wish I had seen a better print of this movie than the one Tubi possessed at the time. Sometimes free doesn’t always work out, although I suppose I could buy this movie from one of the many cult movie distributors currently out in force today. Check it out.

Horrorfest 2014 Presents: You’re Next (2013, Adam Wingard)


Adam Wingard’s You’re Next was the second Netflix Instant Viewing pick on Halloween night. After this I fell asleep watching Barton Fink and dragged my drunk ass into bed when I woke back up to use the bathroom. Good times, heh. This movie is literally Home Alone as a slasher movie, which honestly Home Alone felt like a slasher movie in the second one anyways. The kids version of one, to say the least. Wingard did better than this one later on but it’s still a pretty great modern horror flick.

Barbara Crampton headlines a really good cast that make up a rich family meeting at a remote estate that is of course not close to any major population centers. Sharni Vinson is also excellent in this movie as the heroine who battles the killers. This is definitely not a movie for the faint of heart or those who cannot handle gore, because there is plenty of that and most of the kills are quite brutal.

From what I recall I was a tad mixed about the final act, yet the cell phones being jammed was a decent touch. The killers wearing animal masks was cool although I’m sure other movies have done that before. Still the masks were really wicked looking and the last scene is funny in a pretty bleak way. This concludes Horrorfest 2014 finally although I will link reviews to the movies I didn’t get to back then as I watch them in future Horrorfests. Cheers!

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000, Michael Cooney)


Look I enjoyed the first Jack Frost even if it wasn’t a great movie. The sequel is hilariously awful in a fun way that still means it sucks. Yet I didn’t hate this movie cause it made me laugh and I found the whole thing to be watchable in a bad fun movie way that requires booze. I didn’t have any booze at the time though. Also the reason for Jack Frost still being around is dumb in that usual slasher movie villain way.

Too bad that this sequel lacks the self aware comedic value of the first movie. Yes the kills are fun and this movie wisely follows the sequel rules of a higher death toll. However I can’t recommend this flick even to die hard slasher movie fans. It’s that bad and really it’s not surprising they never made a third movie. Which is also for the best if this is what they cobbled together for the sequel.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The House That Screamed (1969, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador)


Although The House That Screamed is a slow burning movie, the movie still has plenty of violence and mayhem to satisfy fans of giallo and slasher movie type films, of which this movie is clearly both. I’m glad that I was unable to guess the identity of the killer, and I really liked this movie despite the characters being the user paper thin clichés that populate these types of movies. The boarding school setting works very well in the movie’s favor, and this flick is probably best known to fans of Elvira, as she featured the movie on her show back in the 1980s. Unfortunately this movie due to including a mother smothering her own son resulted in The House That Screamed being unfairly compared to Psycho, which is silly considering the two films are quite different in style and in tone.

The murders in this movie are pretty brutal, and there is one shot that is particularly gorgeous. You have issues of voyeurism, lesbian overtones and the oppression of those in charge of the school, all which come to a head at one point or another. I’ve seen better foreign slasher movies sure, yet The House That Screamed is a good slow burn and offers a fantastic and super creepy finale. I’ll never forget that ending, that’s for sure. Oh and I’m pretty convinced that Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s film inspired or had an influence on multiple later, better slasher movies down the road. Alas there is a lack of house screaming, which is made up for human screams. Lots of human screams.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Pledge Night (1990, Paul Ziller)


If Pledge Night wasn’t on a streaming service, I never would have seen it. Then I would have been spared one of the worst horror movies I’ve ever seen in years. It’s really awful, which is too bad since the main villain is ok by slasher movie standards. Oh for some dumb reason Acid Sid doesn’t even show up until way too late in the movie. How can you have a slasher movie where no one gets killed until the flick is almost over? Lame.

I didn’t care about the people in this movie, and I guarantee in about a month I’ll forget I even watched this movie. The title is also dumb considering that the movie takes place over the course of multiple days. Imagine Animal House’s Kevin Bacon gets spanked scene only stretched out longer. Bad slasher movies such as this one do serve only good purpose: they make me appreciate the way better ones.

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 2017 Presents: Urban Legend (1998, Jamie Blanks)


Yeah I know its almost time for Horrorfest 2021. Go figure. Anyways I am glad that Urban Legend popped up on Crackle last year, as it is a fun, mostly sharp, killer targets college kids slasher film that the 1990s featured a lot. Despite getting plenty of hate I actually like this movie quite a bit, particularly since it dives into one of my favorite subjects: urban legends and how they get spread. In this case however the group of young people better know their stuff, considering a murderer is on the loose and is using those famous legends to kill people. Off the top of my head the ones featured include the girl hiding in the car as the boyfriend gets murdered, the dead roommate (“Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?” Spooky), the dog in the microwave, pop rocks and soda being mixed together, and others that are only mentioned, not shown. What a great list. Oh and this film has a cast that fits the material well, for better or for worse. Really its so weird seeing Jared Leto play a seemingly normal guy, although he really pairs up well with the film’s Final Girl, Alicia Witt.

Plus the movie features Danelle Harris and Robert Englund in neat small parts, as well as Tara Reid, Loretta Devine and Michael Rosenbaum in good, notable parts. Despite the film being a bit too flashy at times and certain aspects not working as well as I would have liked, I rather enjoyed Urban Legend. Maybe it’s largely due to how much I like such tales, and in this case who the killer turns out to be is a great twist. One that I will actually admit I did not see coming, although perhaps I should have due to having viewed so many slasher movies over the years. Although back when I saw Urban Legend I still was not as familiar with the genre as I am now. Hurray for reviewing a movie four years later!

Slasher Sequel Fest


Inspired by numerous movie marathons over the years, I was thinking about doing one for only sequels of slasher films. My list would be:

1. Scream 2 (1997)
2. ANOES 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)
3. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)
4. H20 (1998)
5. Leprechaun 2 (1994)
6. TCM 2 (1986)
7. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 (1987)
8. Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)
9. Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
10. Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
11. Slumber Party Massacre Part II (1990)
12. Hellraiser II: Hellbound (1988)
13. Final Destination 2 (2003)

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: You Might Be The Killer (2018, Brett Simmons)


Even though it comes a little late in the game and is not as clever or as inventive as The Cabin In The Woods and Tucker & Dale vs Evil, You Might Be The Killer is still a nice time waster and a decent take on the slasher genre. I did like that the mask is pretty wicked and actually freaky, and what happens is pretty gory and at times even surprising, although that is due to the film trying to subvert slasher cliches. The movie also embraces those cliches fully, as the summer camp setting and the camp counselors getting horribly butchered is a time honored tradition when it comes to such films.

Sam (Fran Kranz, who was also in The Cabin In The Woods) is a nice guy who is stuck in a bad situation: he has memory loss, and people keep dying all around him. He calls his friend Chuck (the usually awesome Alyson Hannigan), who gives him advice but also asks a question that the audience is thinking: is Sam actually the killer? Maybe….maybe not! I can’t say further, although this film does make me think of that one time I took a Facebook horror movie quiz and it said I was the villain. Whoops. Perhaps I should ease up on the horror movie watching for awhile. Nah, I’m good and besides Shudder is a wonderful service that I can’t stop enjoying…

Slash This! (I Got Nothing)


Favorite Slasher Movies Cause Why Not

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American Psycho (2000)
Scream (1996)
My Bloody Valentine (1980)
Halloween (1978)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Deep Red (1975)
Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2005)
Terror Train (1980)

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Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)
Return To Horror High (1987)
The Burning (1981)
Popcorn (1991)
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)
Torso (1973)

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