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: Messiah of Evil (1973, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck)


Equal parts slow burn, nightmare fuel and zombie film, Messiah of Evil is one one those 1970s cult gems that people talk about years later. There are two scenes that echo in my mind: one is a grocery store one that is super freaky, the other takes place in a movie theater which calls to mind Carnival of Souls. Both are highly effective and add to the film’s overall high eerie factor that works very much in it’s favor.

Arletty (Marianna Hill) goes to a small California town in search of her father, played by Royal Dano. Running into an old man (Elisha Cook, Jr.) who tells her about a dark prophecy straight out of a Lovecraft story. She ends up joining a rich guy (Michael Greer) and his two female pals (Joy Bang and Anitra Ford) who hang around despite all of them, Arletty included, reading her father’s spooky diary.

In fact much of this movie has the look and feel of a Lovecraft adaption, with some solid nods to George A. Romero, of course. The final act is your quality 1970s finale that has no qualms about being gloomy. I liked this movie a lot and I might watch it again if Shudder still keeps the rights or Tubi has it. This kind of movie is why I love 1970s horror so much: it has guts, literally.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Living Dead Girl (1982, Jean Rollin)


Ok so now I know what inspired the Rob Zombie song by the same name. I like the song better than the movie, which is solid. The gore factor for this one is nice and heavy, which is good considering the characters are beyond paper thin and I didn’t care what happened to any of them. Perhaps my rating for Living Dead Girl is too high, yet I did like this movie somewhat so maybe not. I think the main woman played by Françoise Blanchard is supposed to be a mix between a zombie, a vampire and a ghoul.

There are some lesbian overtones between her and her friend, who instead of running for the hills decides to bring her fresh victims to feed on. The ending is too anticlimactic for me yet there are some good kills and I liked the cinematography well enough. So far I have seen and liked two Jean Rollin movies but he seems to be a poor man’s Mario Bava. He does have some talent, though, and I might check out his other films anyways.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Subspecies (1991, Ted Nicolaou)


Knowing Full Moon Features more than I did before this Horrorfest, I went into Subspecies with some low expectations. Yet I ended up liking this film even though it’s budget limitations were obvious. However I liked the cast and the acting was much better than your average director to video movie. Oh and having a vampire movie set in Transylvanian and shot in Romania is pretty wicked.

A group of American college students end up in the middle of one those ancient wars between a good and evil pair of siblings that is a staple of many a horror or fantasy movie. Does this lead to some really weird moments involving a blood stone and little monster creatures? Yes. Is there a sword fight later on? Absolutely. I liked that an old guy decided to load a shotgun with rosemary beads.

Once again I watched another movie that was turned into a franchise, which seems to happen with horror movies a lot. I doubt I’ll watch the sequels, but Subspecies did have a nice love subplot that is better than anything in Twilight. That’s for sure. I finally realized last year that all the direct to video movies end up on RedBox or streaming services these days, and so thanks to Tubi I can enjoy tons of Full Moon Features online instead of via the video rental store.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002, Guy Maddin)


This movie has Asian Dracula (the very graceful and elegant Zhang Wei-Qiang), is in black and white and is literally a silent movie. Yet Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary oddly works, even though this is a ballet horror movie filming of a stage ballet adaption of Dracula. That title is pretty cool, and I liked this movie despite it being mostly style rather than substance. I’ve never seen Dracula this graceful before, and the ending ballet is really neat.

If anything the ballet and silent film style filmmaking makes this more interesting than the average vampire flick. Guy Maddin seems to be a unique director, and I would like to see more of his work. Particularly if it is anything like this flick. Ballet vampire movie could be a regular thing, maybe.

Horrorfest 2020/Its Hammer Time Presents: Let Me In (2010, Matt Reeves)


Chloë Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee have pretty good chemistry together in Let Me In, Matt Reeves’ quasi remake of Let The Right One In. I prefer the original but the remake is a good film, and has its own unique moments even if at times it felt like a copy of the Swedish film that was made two years before. Sometimes imitation is the best kind of flattery.

I rather like how the film was shot, with Abby and Owen’s relationship being as tender and complicated as the one in the original film. I like good remakes, and this was certainly one of them, although I am not sure it needed to exist. Still Reeves definitely has talent and is a good director, and I want to check out some of his other films. Especially since I really enjoyed Cloverfield. Oddly enough I prefer the pool scene in this film to the one in the original, mostly for a particular shot of Owen that is very remarkable and memorable.

Knife In The Back: Horrorfest 2020


Well it is that time of the year again. I think a bit more Tubi than Shudder will be used this time. Perhaps even a dash of Netflix. Also all reviews will be actually linked in the titles since I figured out that looks better. Gonna try to keep up this time with the reviews for a change.

This concludes Horrorfest 2020. I think it went insanely well all things considered despite wifi issues and a pandemic, and I may have overdone it a bit. On to next year!

August:


1. Lady Frankenstein (1971, Female this time!), Tubi

2. Let Me In (2010, Vampires), Tubi

3. Slaughter High (1986, Slasher), Tubi

4. Mausoleum (1983, Demonic), Shudder

5. The Devil’s Rain (1975, Ernest Borgnine Satanic Revenge!), Tubi

6. Sweet Sixteen (1983, Dead Kids), Tubi

7. Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002, Duh), Tubi

8. Bad Channels (1992, Horny Killer Alien), Tubi

9. The Pit & the Pendulum (1991, THE SPANISH INQUISITION!), Tubi

10. Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995, Tony Todd with a hook), Tubi

September:

11. Intruder (1989, Retail is Murder!), Tubi

12. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, Him again?), Shudder

13. Maniac Cop (1988. Cop Slasher), Shudder

14. Subspecies (1991, THE BLOODSTONE!), Tubi

15. The House That Dripped Blood (1971, Spooky Tales), Tubi

16. Trick or Treats (1982, Never babysit on Halloween), Tubi

17. The Car (1977, Demon on wheels), Netflix Instant Viewing

18. Fade To Black (1980, Movies Make People Crazy), Shudder

19. American Gothic (1988, Psycho Family), Public Library Blu-ray

20. Squrim (1976, Killer Worms!), Shudder/Tubi

21. Jack’s Back (1988, The Ripper!), Tubi

22. The Amityville Horror (1979, GET OUT!), Public Library Blu-ray

23. The Invisible Man (2020, Never marry a mad scientist), Public Library Blu-ray

24. The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971, Giallo!), Shudder

October:

25. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966, Giant Lobster!), Criterion Blu-ray

26. Son of Godzilla (1967, Godzilla’s Kid), Criterion Blu-ray

27. The Living Dead Girl (1982, Hungry for Blood!), Tubi

28. Moon of the Wolf (1972, Werewolf!), Tubi

29. Deadly Blessing (1981, INCUBUS!), Public Library DVD

30. Ghosthouse (1988, EVIL DOLL), Tubi

31. The Sadist (1963, Archie Hall is nuts), Tubi

32. The Masque of the Red Death (1964, Plague!), Shudder

33. The Tomb of Ligeia (1965, That Darn Cat), Shudder

34. Doctor Sleep (2019, Shine On), Public Library

35. Scare Me (2020, Storytellers!), Shudder

36. The College Girl Murders (1967, Acid to the Face), Tubi

37. Baron Blood (1972, Undead evil Baron guy), Tubi

38. Don’t Breathe (2016, Be careful who you rob), Public Library

39. Bell, Book and Candle (1958, Love spells), Pluto TV

40. Waxwork (1988, Creepy Wax People), Tubi TV

41. Blood Diner (1987, Sheetar!), Hulu

42. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978, Tomato or Tomatoe?), Tubi

43. Fear (1996, Marky Mark is cray crazy), Public Library DVD

44. Hack-O-Lantern (1988, The blood is the power), Shudder

45. Victor Crowley (2017, Big angry hillbilly), Shudder

46. Firestarter (1984, psychic powers!), Public Library

47. Creature (1985, Alien Monster!), Tubi

48. Haunt (2019, Haunted House Evil), Shudder

49. Blood Tide (1982, Sea Monster!), Arrow Video Blu-ray

50. Edge of the Axe (1988, Brutal), Arrow Video Blu-ray

51. Ringu (1998, Seven Days), Shudder

52. Ju-On (2002, Creepy Dead Kids), Tubi

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.

Horrorfest 2019: Never Sleep Again


Music Movies Horror Gif Shared By Gamand On Gifer
They are not paying me for promotional purposes. Yet….

Well it is time for another Horrorfest, especially since last year’s worked great and resulted in me reviving my love for horror movies. Every time I think I’ll stop doing these something causes me to continue, and in this case the magic of streaming services makes it possible I will be doing this until I finally die…or return as the undead. I thought about doing a list but that never works, so all films listed here are ones I have actually viewed, with reviews to bore-I mean, follow. Enjoy! PS: This was my 500th blog post. Very fitting, indeed.

This concludes Horrorfest 2019. I will unsticky this post when it is time for Horrorfest 2020. Thanks for reading.
Pre-October:

1. The Babysitter (2017, Demonic Cult)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/08/03/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-babysitter-2017-mcg/
2. Ready Or Not (2019, Crazy Rich People)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2mq
3. It: Chapter 2 (2019, Pennywise)-Work in progress I guess
4. Summer of 84 (2018, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/horrorfest-2019-presents-summer-of-84-2018-francois-simard-anouk-whissell-and-yoann-karl-whissell/
5. The Ranger (2018, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-ranger-2018-jennifer-wexler/
October:

6. Viy (1967, Demons)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/horrorfest-2019-presents-viy-1967-konstantin-yershov-georgi-kropachyov/
7. Under the Shadow (2016, Evil Spirits)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/horrorfest-2019-presents-under-the-shadow-2016-babak-anvari/
8. Twins of Evil (1972, Vampires)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/11/25/horrorfest-2019-its-hammer-time-presents-twins-of-evil-1972-john-hough/
9. Vampire Circus (1972, DUH)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/horrorfest-2019-its-hammer-time-presents-vampire-circus-1972-robert-young/
10. Final Exam (1981, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/05/horrorfest-2019-presents-final-exam-1981-jimmy-huston/
11. The Love Witch (2016, SEX MAGIK)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/the-love-witch-2016-anna-biller/
12. City of the Dead (1959, New England Witches)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/city-of-the-dead-1960-john-llewellyn-moxey/
13. The Corpse Grinders (1971, KILLER CATS)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/16/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-corpse-grinders-1971-ted-v-mikels/
14. Cannibal Girls (1973, MEAT)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/16/horrorfest-2019-presents-cannibal-girls-1973-ivan-reitman/
15. Hell Night (1981, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/17/horrorfest-2019-presents-hell-night-1981-tom-desimone/

16. The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1985, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/24/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-hills-have-eyes-2-1985-wes-craven/
17. Hands of the Ripper (1971, Jack’s Kid)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/24/horrorfest-2019-its-hammer-time-presents-the-hands-of-the-ripper-1971-peter-sasdy/
18. The Mutilator (1985, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-mutilator-1985-buddy-cooper/
19. Thirst (1979, Vampire Cult)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/01/14/2019-horrorfest-presents-thirst-1979-rod-hardy/
20. Stagefright (1987, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/01/14/horrorfest-2019-presents-stage-fright-1987-michele-soavi/
21. The Wax Mask (1997, Giallo)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/01/21/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-wax-mask-1997-sergio-stivaletti/
22. De Lift (1983, Killer Elevator)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/01/23/horrorfest-2019-presents-de-lift-1983-dick-maas/
23. I Drink Your Blood (1971, Rabies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/horrrorfest-2019-presents-i-drink-your-blood-1970-david-e-durston/
24. All The Colors of the Dark (1972, Madness)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/03/12/horrorfest-2019-presents-all-the-colors-of-the-dark-1972-sergio-martino/
25. One Cut of the Dead (2017, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/horrorfest-2019-presents-one-cut-of-the-dead-2017-shinichirou-ueda/

26. Demons 2 (1986, UGLY BUGGERS)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/horrorfest-2019-presents-demons-2-1986-lamberto-bava/
27. Der Nachtmahr (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/der-nachtmahr-2015-achim-bornhak/
28. You Might Be The Killer (2018, Meta)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/horrorfest-2019-presents-you-might-be-the-killer-2018-brett-simmons/
29. Day of the Animals (1977, NATURE IS PISSED)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/horrorfest-2019-presents-day-of-the-animals-1977-william-girdler/
30. The Awakening (2011, British Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/04/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-awakening-2011-nick-murphy/
31. Bloody Pit of Horror (1965, Torture and lots of it)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/04/horrorfest-2019-presents-bloody-pit-of-horror-1965-massimo-pupillo/
32. Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl (2016, Lesbians)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/horrorfest-2019-presents-sweet-sweet-lonely-girl-2016-a-d-calvo/
33. Mayhem (2017, VIOLENCE)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/horrorfest-2019-presents-mayhem-2017-joe-lynch/
34. Zombieland: Double Tap (2019, GO BIG OR GO HOME)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/horrorfest-2019-presents-zombieland-double-tap-2019-ruben-fleischer/
35. Jack Frost (1997, Killer Snowman)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/horrorfest-2019-presents-jack-frost-1997-michael-cooney/
36. Dark Water (2002, CREEEEEPY)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/horrorfest-2019-presents-dark-water-2002-hideo-nakata/
Halloween:

37. Happy Birthday to Me (1981, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/horrorfest-2019-presents-happy-birthday-to-me/

Coda:

38. The Lighthouse (2019, WUT)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2020/06/08/horrorfest-2019-presents-the-lighthouse-2019-robert-eggers/

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974, Dan Curtis)


Dan Curtis’ 1974 Dracula made for TV movie is really good despite not coming from Hammer Studios. Jack Palance was pretty solid in the title role, embodying the Count as a primal force of nature. Richard Matherson wrote the screenplay, and Dark Shadows creator Curtis directed, which is a good pairing for a TV film. Dracula is fairly well shot, although the rest of the cast fails to match Palance. Also the story is largely familiar, even though Curtis adds the twist of Dracula and Vlad the Impaler being one and the same, a bit that Francis Ford Coppolla used later for his own Dracula film.

Palance really does take over this film, and some of the shots are rather impressive. Dracula shoving people aside as if they are rag dolls was a cool part, as was some eerie beach shots. Even though this pales in comparison to the best of Hammer’s vampire films, I liked its style. I also miss TV movies, as they were usually major events that used to be featured weekly on television. A relic of a long gone age, much like Dracula himself.

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