Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964, Herschell Gordon Lewis)


Not only did Herschell Gordon Lewis manage to make one of the earliest slasher gore flicks with Blood Feast, he then followed it up with an early redneck torture genre movie in Two Thousand Maniacs! Sure the acting remains wonderfully awful, yet beneath that and some cheesy moments lies a movie that in 1964 examines the South being unable to let the Civil War go. Sadly that aspect remains more relevant than ever, and it makes me appreciate this movie more than others do I suppose.

That and the kills are really disturbing and gory for a drive in 1960s flick. Lewis was not afraid to go beyond any lines of good taste, and the poor Northerners who stumble into the town of Pleasant Valley find out all too well how thirsty for revenge the folks of the town are, via multiple different ways of violence! He helps create the cliches of the two dumb redneck guys responsible for orchestrating the chaos, the victims who fail to realize what is happening until it’s too late, and a fun twist ending that would be at home in any modern horror movie.

Lewis did all this, and helped along with others to drag the horror movie genre into the modern era kicking and screaming. I want to see more of his other movies, and I think myself and others have more of an appreciation for his movies, good or bad. This flick will stick with me for a while, that’s for sure.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Death By Invitation (1971, Ken Friedman)


This movie has some good kills, yet Death By Invitation is a low budget bore that doesn’t work. I mean you have a woman who is the reincarnation of a woman burned for witchcraft, yet there’s no indication she has any powers or whatever. Nope she just murders people in the fashion of a slasher villain, which is fine but a tad routine. I was hoping for something either more goofy or creepy, and the film doesn’t accomplish either one.

Honestly I fell asleep sitting through this film multiple times, which is a bad sign. I don’t remember any of the characters, and I think the ending was ok, maybe? The worst movies are the meh ones, the flicks that I sit through and forget I even saw them a year later. Or even months later. This is one of those.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Hannah, Queen of the Vampires aka Crypt of the Living Dead (1973, Julio Salvador, Ray Danton)


Despite having two titles for some reason and being mostly a slow burn, Crypt of the Living Dead is a solid 1970s horror movie. I would have liked more vampire moments from a vampire movie, still the final act is awesome and the movie builds up a good enough atmosphere. The beach ocean shots are kind of haunting, actually, and I was left satisfied by how the movie concluded.

A professor of archeology, Bolton, shows up on an island after his father horribly dies. Suspecting it was murder instead of an accident, he contends with both a local wildman and the ancient legend of a vampire woman entombed by the ocean. There is a torches scene that is a good example of the classic mob scene, and when the movie does have vampire related scenes they are well done. Some of this reminded me of a Hammer Studios movie, other parts were very Jean Rollin or Mario Bava. If you are going to borrow, do it from the best.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Doom Asylum (1987, Richard Friedman)


Sure Doom Asylum is silly, cheesy, and very low budget. At one point a character says something about a person meeting them and God or whatever. I can’t remember, it was hilarious. This is a fun late 1980s slasher movie that refuses to take itself seriously, has a decent enough cast and is good fun trash that works anyways. Elements of the movie are a parody of slasher movies anyways, and work better in comedic fashion.

A lawyer and his girlfriend get in a horrible car crash. She dies, he becomes a mutilated killer who lurks in an abandoned aslyum. Some young folks show up to get horribly murdered in various ways by the killer, who spends half the flick watching old movies. Kristin Davis is probably the most famous actress in this movie, followed by Patty Mullen.

The ending made me laugh actually, and the kills are really good for a silly movie such as this one. Also the killer has some hilarious one liners and he looks really gruesome. This flick is easily a The Last Drive In candidate, although I’m sure the folks there have already seen this and I bet Joe Bob Briggs has reviewed it at some point. Check it out.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: One Dark Night (1983, Tom McLoughlin)


Even though most of the action happens in the last half of the movie, One Dark Night is still a decent horror movie. Plus the final act is pretty cool and quite weird, as if the movie couldn’t decide whether to be a slasher zombie movie or a vampire flick. So it choose all of those, combining different elements. I wish the kill count had been higher, still this is a flick I recommend anyways.

Julie (Meg Tilly) wants to join a group of popular girls despite her boyfriend telling her she’s better off ignoring them. They decide to send her to spend the night in a local mausoleum, and decide to come back to scare her. Too bad for them all a local occultist has been entombed there as well! Does he come back from the dead? What do you think? Also hey Adam West is even in the movie! Neat.

Melissa Newman also plays the daughter of the dead occultist, Raymar (what a great name) who attempts to figure out what her father was up to, and Robin Evans, E. G. Daily and Leslie Speights are the Sisters club that is responsible for Julie’s situation in the first place. I liked the zombies in this movie, and the finale is definitely pretty wild. It’s too bad that Tom McLoughlin didn’t make more movies, as between this one and Jason Lives he seemed to have a knack for directing watchable horror movies. Oh well.

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: Blood (1973, Andy Milligan)


Blood is a really weird low budget 1970s horror flick that I’m not sure I liked or not. There are certain aspects that worked, and I didn’t hate the movie. Yet Andy Milligan veers between a vampire movie, a werewolf movie and even a killer plant movie. I think he would have benefited from cutting out some plot aspects.

I did laugh at the ending, which I think I was supposed to as I believe it was a nice joke. Some of the movie is really slow and most of the interesting moments only happen in the final act. I suppose you could do worse horror movie wise, and you could also do better. Blood has it’s goofy charms, I suppose.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The Church (1989, Michele Soavi)


Hey I wanted to like The Church. I’m usually a sucker for goofy, outrageous 1980s crazy foreign cinema. I just wasn’t feeling this one and by the end I was ready for it to be over. This is how I imagine most people feel when sitting through giallo movies that I enjoy a lot. This is a flick that maybe could have used less plot, or more plot, or I donno, something. By the time really cool things start happening I had already fallen asleep and it took me two days to finish this movie.

None of that is a good sign. Alright the subway train death was neat, and hey look the Devil or some demon shows up near the end to do evil things! Yey! The opener promised a much cooler movie than what I watched, and I’m left frustrated that I didn’t like this movie. I bet if I had seen this in theaters I would have felt ripped off, and I saw it for free on Tubi and I still feel ripped off. Sigh…

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: 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.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑