Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Part II of Horrorfest

Once again we bring you a full review by guest writer Lethargic. We thank him again.


18. The Pit (1981) - This was one of my favorites as a kid. It was one of those movies that seemed to be on constantly in the early days of cable and was one of the 5 movies available to rent in the early days of VHS. I watched it a lot. While other kids my age were obsessed with E.T., I was obsessed with The Pit. It took FOREVER to finally get this movie out on DVD so I could see it again and the wait was worth it. This is one of the few times where a movie actually held up. It's about a weird, perverted 12 year old boy who is constantly picked on by other kids, miss-understood by adults and ostracized by his community. The kid has all kinds of problems including the fact that his mother "washes him too much" and his only friend is an evil talking teddy bear named Teddy. Eventually he finds a pit in the woods where creatures called Trollalogs live. He decides to take care of the creatures and discovers that all they eat is meat. He starts stealing money to buy meat so he can feed them but the money runs out so he has to find a new source of meat. Per Teddy's advice, he decides to kill two birds with one stone and starts tricking the bullies and people who have wronged him into the pit to feed the Trollalogs. One of my favorite scenes in movie history is when this kid pushes an old lady in a wheel chair into this friggin pit. Wow, does that make me laugh. The thing that's great about this movie is that there is not a second of normalcy in it. It is just weird, creepy and odd from start to finish. You could make a thousand movies about a kid throwing people into pit and 999 of them would stink. You could never recapture whatever it is that makes this one work. It's not a well made movie but it has a vibe and an atmosphere that just makes you feel dirty. You feel like you have to brush your teeth after watching it. I loved every second. And it's not because I completely identify with the main character!!! Not fully at least.

19. Cleavagefield (2009) - I've tried to stick with Jim Wynorski for a long time now but I'm finally tired of hoping for the best with this guy. This is just another in his long line of awful T & A parody flicks that fail to entertain either as a movie OR a skin flick. Wynorski started his career in the 80s with a string of awesome horror movies (Chopping Mall, Not of this Earth, Sorority House Massacre 2) and other B-movie classics (Big Bad Mama 2, Deathstalker 2, Return of Swamp Thing). In the 90's he continued to bounce from low budget horror (976-Evil 2) to low budget kids movies (Munchie) to low budget action (Hard Bounty) to low budget sci-fi (Dinosaur Island) to low budget erotic thrillers (Body Chemistry 3). He became the king of the direct to video market. Things started taking a turn for the worse in 2000 when he made a Blair Witch parody called The Bare Wench. The movie wound up being quite successful and its sequel even more so. While he had now delved into complete and total gratuitous T and A nudity, these movies were also entertaining. As far as I know, this was the first time somebody was making these Skinemax type movies that were actually worth watching even without the nudity. For a while Wynorski continued with his normal career while also cranking out a few more Bare Wench sequels that kept getting more and more unwatchable. The problem is, as they became more and more unwatchable, they made more and more money. Far out doing his serious work. So he apparently decided to sell his soul and has all but abandoned his efforts to make watchable movies and now makes almost NOTHING but soft core pornography parodies such as The Breastford Wives, The Da Vinci Coed and Busty Cops. And he's constantly tricking me. I see a title like Cleavagefield and I think wow, that's a funny concept, maybe this one will recapture the magic of Bare Wench. Then I just end up sitting here fast forwarding through a bunch of awful lesbian scenes to watch the 5 minutes of movie he bothered to make. He no longer parodies the movies, he now only parodies the title. He's sunk so low at this point that he can't even get hot girls in his movies anymore. It's nothing but a bunch of ugly naked girls running from some horrible CG monster that makes SyFy's original movies level of FX look like Transformers. Even Wynorski himself seems to be embarrassed. He has used no less than 16 fake names to direct these pieces of garbage. There's no telling how many more he's made that nobody knows is him. So if you ever see a movie directed by J. Andrews, Jay Andrews, H.R. Blueberry, Harold Blueberry, Bob E. Brown, Daniel Fast, David Gibbs, Heny Henri, Noble Henri, Nobel Henry, Noble Henry, J.R. Mandish, Tom Popatopolous, Arch Stanton, Jamie Wagner or Thaddeus's really Jim Wynorski and I urge you to change the channel.

20. Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas (2009) - There has been three movies based on the serial killer Henry Lee Lucas and his partner Ottis Toole. The most famous is Henry. The best is Confessions of a Serial Killer. The absolute worst is Drifter. Confessions attempted to tell the true story as faithfully as they could. They made no effort to sex up the story and make the killers seem cool. They were scumbags in real life and they were scum bags in the movie. Drifter went the other way. This truly horrible script seemed to be written by somebody who read half of Lucas and Toole's Wiki page, watched Natural Born Killers a dozen times, leafed through a how to write a screenplay book and went to town. This movie featured some of the worst dialogue I've ever heard in a movie and the production value was barely above a high school play. Wanna check out a visual representation of how horrible this movie is? Look at the casting choices:

Here is a picture of the real Henry (on the right) and Ottis (on the left):
The idiot who made this movie decided this guy should play Henry:
And this guy should play Ottis:
Are you kidding me?

21. Visiting Hours (1982) - This is a pretty good thriller about a female TV personality who begins a campaign against spousal abuse. Unfortunately for her, there's a woman hating psycho on the loose, played by Dude Who Does the Splinter Cell Guy's Voice, who thinks beating your wife is A-OK. So he breaks into her house and kicks the crap out of her in protest. Then once she's in the hospital he decides to go there and menace her a little longer. This guy is less a villain and more a big fat jerk. It's good but it would've been a LOT better if somebody did some editing. It's an hour and 45 minutes long. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin could've made a movie with the same plot in less than 20 minutes and it'd be way funnier.

22. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) - A really awesome 70s horror flick from the people who made The Legend of Boggy Creek. This one is based on the true life case of The Phantom Killer who killed 5 people in Texarkana in 1946. (Fun fact: I will NEVER go to Texarkana.) The killer wears a sack with eye holes cut into it kinda like Jason did in Friday part 2. It goes a long way to proving that you could use a computer to make the freakiest nightmare of a creature possible, but it will never be anywhere near as scary as a redneck with a sack on his head.

23. The Pumpkin Karver (2006) - It was late when I saw this on the guide. I thought the listing said it starred Amy Acker. I thought the title sounded like a pretty bad movie, but Acker is a good enough actress that I wouldn't think she'd be in that crappy of a movie. My hopes were dashed as 2-3 minutes into the movie I realized I had miss-read the listing. The movie did not star the good actress Amy Acker. It starred the former soap opera has been turned former WWE Diva has been turned over the hill scream queen has been....Amy Weber. This movie was utter tripe. I thought the dialogue in Drifter was bad?? Pumpkin Karver makes Drifter look like Glengarry Glen Ross. I don't even believe there WAS a script, it seemed like the whole movie was improvised. The plot was stupid, the characters were stupid, everything was stupid. And TWO people wrote this?? I could see one person writing something this dumb, but two?? There comes a time when you have to look at your buddy and go dude....this really sucks.

24. Skinwalkers (2006) - When FX guru Stan Winston died it was a huge loss to the horror and genre film world. This was one of the last movies he worked on and was apparently pretty important to him as he loved werewolves. After watching this I no longer miss him.

25. Claws (1982) - Claws is the type of movie that makes me want to hunt down everybody who made it and give them a Joker style beating with a crow bar. The film is sold as a horror film, but it's really not. It's about a young boy, and his dog, being left alone to take care of a farm while his parents go to the big city. While they're away a monster shows up and starts terrorizing the boy and killing the farm animals. It turns out the monster isn't a monster, it's just a lynx. Here's the first problem, the movie takes place in South Africa. You ain't going to find no stinking lynx in South Africa. They're in North America, Europe and Asia. The movie is slow and boring but there's something charming and likable about it. It's just a c nice boy and his dog movie. Very reminiscent of the live action boy vs wild movies that used to come on The Wonderful World of Disney. It's in the final act that this movie sent my blood pressure through the roof. I'm one of those people that really doesn't like watching animals get killed. Even if it's faked, I don't like it. It doesn't anger me or anything but as somebody who has had more pets in his life than friends, it's not something I enjoy. Watching animals die for REAL? That's what makes me reach for my crow bar. I started getting a bad feeling about this movie as it went on. When the boy would discover farm animals that had been killed by the lynx, it looked a tad bit too realistic. I started realizing that this movie was not filmed in the U.S. and was probably NOT going to have a "no animals were harmed" tag at the end. The last 15 minutes is all about this kid and his dog hunting down this lynx and boy was I gearing up. I knew for sure he'd end up shooting the lynx on camera and I'd be livid. But they threw a curve at me and killed the dog. For real. Not only that but they forced the lynx and the dog to fight, basically turning the film into a Michael Vick home movie. The lynx tears the dog to bits and we get to see it limp away a bloody mess. The lynx is bloodied too but nothing like the dog. The boy ends up killing the lynx off screen so I guess maybe it was allowed to survive. The ending of the movie sees the boy walking back home to his waiting parents, carrying the He tells his dad about the lynx and he asks did you get it, son? He says I got it, Pa! And the whole movie climaxes with a that's my boy! Sarcastic happy music starts playing as the parents run to the boy and hug him while he still holds the dead dog and its limp head rolls around in between the hugs. It's played off as the most triumphant happy ending to any movie ever. Even if the dog was just movie dead, Old Yeller dead, Where the Red Fern Grows dead, the ending should not be played off THIS happy. Knowing that the dog they just spent an hour and half getting the audience to love is ACTUALLY dead? Uggh. Did the director really think this movie that only 10 people have seen was worth that? I give this movie -235 skulls!!!!!!!! BOOOOOOO!

26. The Mist (2007) - I kept putting off watching this due to the poor word of mouth. I don't know why I listen to people. People are always wrong. I thought this was very cool. A Stephen King story about a group of people trapped in a grocery store by a bunch of wacky monsters. But it's King so it's not REALLY about the monsters. It's about how people react to the monsters and how in the end it's always us that end up being the real monsters. The good news is that the hero in this one isn't an alcoholic writer. But he IS a painter who just so happens to paint Stephen King book covers.

27. The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976) - I got roped into watching this by my friend.....boy.....I don't know. I just don't know. Sometimes you just gotta stop being friends with people.

28. Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009) - Awful acting. Awful writing. Awful sets. Awful special effects. Awful movie title. Awful stock footage. This could be the greatest movie I've ever seen. I'd like to make a trailer for it. SEE! The Mega Shark eat an airplane right out of the sky! SEE! The Mega Shark eat a battleship! SEE! The Mega Shark eat a destroyer! SEE! The Mega Shark eat The Golden Gate bridge! SEE! The Giant Octopus do absolutely nothing because animating those tentacles cost WAY too much money!

29. The Sound of Horror (1964) - The sound of horror is the click the play button made when I pushed it.

30. Dark Knight of the Scarecrow (1981) - This made for TV classic is about a nutty small town mail man who has an insanely over the top hatred for retarded people. Like Dwight Yoakam in Sling Blade but without all the laughs. He gets a group of friends together to hunt down a local retarded man and finds him trying to hide by dressing up like a scarecrow. They shoot him a whole bunch of times and this, of course, leads to the ghost of a retarded scarecrow coming back to haunt these guys. This movie is 100 times better than that made it sound. It also really made me miss TV movies. What happened to the TV movies of the week? There are a bunch of classic horror movies that people don't even realize as this point that they were made for TV. Many of them were better than theatrical movies. Then there were all the "ripped from the headlines" movies of the week. You kids really missed out on that one. It used to be that every single time some scandalous story popped up you could set your watch and warrant that there would be a very awful, but very watchable, TV movie of the week about the story within the month. If this was 1987 we'd have seen at least 5 David Letterman movies this weekend.

31. The Messengers 2: The Scarecrow (2009) - One fun aspect that has been creeping into Horrorfest is how one year I will watch a mediocre, big budget, theatrically released movie and then the following Horrorfest I get to watch its mediocre, low budget, straight to DVD cash grab sequel. Like most D2D sequels The Messengers 2 seems to have almost nothing in common with the original besides both movies taking place on a farm. I figured this was another example of a studio taking a horror script they had laying around, changing a few lines in it and calling it a sequel even though it's not. Plus it's actually a prequel, yet the first movie explained the back story and that story is different than this. After doing some research it turns out that the script for Messengers 2: The Scarecrow was originally a movie simply called The Scarecrow and it was actually supposed to be the FIRST movie. The studio brought in somebody to do some touch up work on The Scarecrow script, instead the new writer turned in a radically different script called The Messengers. Instead of going wait, this isn't the same movie, the studio just made it anyway. So Messengers 2 is actually the first movie in the series even though it's Part 2, while also being a prequel to a movie that it has no real connection to in anyway. Ahhhh, the magic of Hollywood. Fun Fact: The movie stars Norman Reedus. He was one of the front runners to play the Joker in The Dark Knight before Ledger got it. 2 years later Heather Ledger wins an Oscar and is fixing to star in a Terry Gilliam movie even though he's dead and Norman Reedus stars in The Messengers 2.

32. Contamination .7 (1990) - Here's another movie with a convoluted past. The movie itself is about a small town being attacked by evil tree roots. No, you read that right. Toxic waste from a nearby plant caused the tree roots to start killing people. No, you read that right too. The sad thing is that this movie had a lot going for it. It really felt like it should be good......but the acting was HORRIBLE. That totally killed the movie. This movie with a good cast could be pretty decent but with the cast it is has.....yuck. Plus it looked like it was made in the late 70s. To look it up and find out it was made in 1990 was a shocker. The big mess though is with the title. It turns out Contamination .7 is the least known title this movie has used. It was originally released in the U.S. as The Crawlers. Then it was released in the U.K. as Creepers. In 1993 it was released in the U.S. again under the name Troll 3. Obviously, it has nothing to do with Troll. Troll was about an evil troll, not evil tree roots. It had nothing to do with Troll 2 either because Troll 2 was originally a movie called Goblins. It was a movie about goblins, not trolls, and was not actually a sequel to Troll either. The saddest part is that there was already a fake Troll 3 release in 1991. That one was a cheap Italian swords and sorcery flick called Ator IV: Quest for the Mighty Sword. That movie DID have a troll in it, but it wasn't the Troll troll. That didn't stop them from changing its name to Troll 3: The Sword of Power though. So when Contamination .7 was changed to be a Troll sequel that had nothing to do with Troll it should have been called Troll 4. The main problem here is that Troll stunk and didn't deserve a sequel anyway.

33. Monster Hunter (1982) - Well, might as well keep the trend going.... This movie's original Italian title was Rosso Sangue. Translation: Red Blood. It has been released in the U.S. under the titles Absurd, Horrible and Monster Hunter. Ironically enough this movie IS absurd and horrible. It was also released in Germany as Ausgeburt der Holle which even the internet can't seem to translate. In French Canada it was released as Psychose Infernale which seems to be Hellish Psychosis. In Spain it was released as Terror Sin Limite or Terror Without Limit. Now, we get to the really fun stuff. It was also released in Germany as Anthropophagous 2 even though it has nothing to do with Anthropophagous 1. It was also released as The Grim Reaper 2. No relation. Then the best of them it all, it was released as Zombie 6: Monster Hunter. The Zombie series has been famous for sequels that aren't actually sequels. With Monster Hunter coming out in 1982, and Zombie's already convoluted sequel history, this means that Zombie 6 came out only 3 years after the first Zombie movie, 6 years BEFORE Zombie 5 and 6 years before Zombie 4. Yeah, you read that right, part 5 was before part 4.

34. Slaughter (2008) - Slaughter is everything that's right about the low budget horror genre. Usually movies of this ilk just grab a few friends who can't act, write a script filled with horror clichés and try to cover up their complete lack of talent and money with buckets and buckets of red kayo syrup. But every once in a while one goes the other way. They ditch the gore and let storytelling and interesting characters be the star of their movie. That's what Slaughter does. A smart, well written script with twists and turns that aren't seen from a mile away performed by actual actors instead of buddies. It's not perfect by any means. The first half is slow moving and does nothing but scream cliché, cliché, cliché but by time the movie ended I was blown away and it was far away from being just another cliché filled horror flick.

35. From Within (2008) - Just like Slaughter, through much of the first half of this movie I was thinking I was going to hate it but then by the end I really liked it. It has a VERY Japanese horror vibe to it and a very Japanese horror plot about a curse that forces people to kill themselves. But then it also has a plot about a tween girl falling in love with the emo bad boy tween member of a family of witches. If Twilight had sex with The Grudge, From Within would be their unwanted baby. The movie featured Rumer Willis and she confuses me. Is she attractive? I can't tell. Sometimes at the right angle I think well, I wouldn't kick her out of bed. But then other times I see her and she looks like one those Easter Island heads.

36. The Broken (2008) - Another movie that feels like a Japanese horror movie but isn't. Seriously, it's not bad enough that we've been besieged by Japanese horror movies and remakes of Japanese horror movies for the past few years? Now we gotta start making our own Japanese horror movies? This one is about a mirror breaking and cursing some family in way that I couldn't even be bothered to try to understand. Both this movie and From Within had terrible sound mixing. I know, weird complaint, but the dialogue was so hard to hear I had to turn subtitles on for both of them. Broken was so bad that I didn't know the main character was British until 40 minutes into the movie.

37. Trick r Treat (2009) - From the creators of X-men 2 and Superman Returns comes.....this. This one had a lot of hype behind it, but impressive names in front of and behind the camera doesn't always make a good movie. This is an anthology movie so it tells 4 different stories. It started off nice, seemed to be going for a nice old school Creepshow vibe, but as every second passed I found myself becoming more and more disconnected from it. Instead of just telling one story after another, they tried to interweave all the stories together. This lead to making it feel like nothing but a bunch of random scenes strung together. Since the stories were all pretty generic it felt like they just grabbed 4 random episodes of Night Gallery and mixed em all up. Nothing was given enough time to gel. I didn't care about the characters and I didn't care about the stories because every time I starting getting into something the movie switched to something else. That's not to say that there weren't some cool moments but they were few and far between.

38. Dying Breed (2008) - Australia is usually good for at least one good horror movie a year, but not this year apparently. Ya know all those dozens of movies about people going camping in West Virginia and getting stalked by a family of inbred cannibals? Pretend West Virginia is Tasmania and that's this movie. The reason these people went to Tasmania was to try to find a living Tasmanian Tiger which went extinct in 1936. Today this thing is like bigfoot over there. A bunch of weirdos claim it still lives but nobody ever really sees one. The movie itself tells us that people have been trying to find one of these things for years and years and years and years. Millions of dollars have been wasted trying to find one of these creatures and nothing has been found. Yet the 4 goobers in this movie go out there for one day, set up camp and find a Tasmanian Tiger on the very first night as it just comes walking up to their camp site and looks around. Really? It was that easy? It's really bad when the inbred family of cannibals is the most realistic thing in your movie.

39. Rogue (2007) - This evil crocodile movie has quite a bit of tension and suspense in a few scenes but it's ultimately pretty forgettable.

40. Laid to Rest (2009) - One of the worst movies ever made. The only thing that remotely works is the gore and special effects so it was no surprise to find out that this dreck was directed by a makeup artist. The writing is pitiful. I know it's cliché that horror movie characters have to do dumb things to keep the movie going but this took it to a whole new level. There's not a single character in this movie that displays any hint of intelligence. They all do the exact opposite of what any person in the world would do in this situation. The main girl in the movie even TALKS stupid. She calls nothing by its proper name. Here is a sample of crap she actually said in the movie: "I woke up in a dead box at the place where the dead people live. Then the shiny face man tried to make me dead so I grabbed a tire stick." Translation: "I woke up in a casket at the cemetery. Some guy in a mask tried to kill me so I grabbed a tire iron." It IS a laugh riot though! Funny from start to finish. The weird thing is that this movie had lots of name actors in small roles. I have no understanding of how they got these people to do this movie. Mind boggling. The most shocking was Lena Headey. I wondered if she just sat on the set of this horrible movie thinking to herself...."I was in I'm in this."

On the IMDB message board for Laid to Rest, they are compiling a "Top 100 things I learned from Laid to Rest" list. Here are a few of my favorites...

When a camera displays "Low Battery", and then shuts down, you act like "what the hell?" and start shaking and hitting it to get it to start.
Sharp knives can slice through skulls like they're butter but you have to put some effort into slicing open a neck.
You just woke up in a coffin, watched a man get killed and don't know who the hell you are? Don't worry! Nice shoes will make you feel better!
If you are the producer and star of the movie, make sure your Missing poster lists you with a completely unrealistic weight (110 lbs, yeah right).
when escaping a killer, hide in the freezer!
Apparently, people only keep 1/8th of a tank of gas for times like these.
Who needs to call the police when you can just send them an email?

41. Danika (2006) - Marisa Tomei stars as a woman going insane with hallucinations. If this movie did not let me look at Marisa Tomei for 80 minutes this is the review I WOULD have written:

And that's all for part two.


  1. Well, I finally got around to finishing the Hfest II reviews. Amazing. You either have a photographic memory or great notes or both. How difficult is it to watch as many self-described unwatchable movies as you do and yet manage to not only stay awake but also remember something about them? Me? In one eye/ear and out the other.

    Nice job buddy. (Maybe you need to collabarate with someone - Joe Bob B? - and write a brief "worst of" guide.

  2. Me and a friend have had a bad movie night every saturday night for 10 years so I've had plenty of practice.

  3. I enjoyed reading your article. I just ordered a new home theater system from and I am so looking forward to a quiet weekend with some friends just kicking back and watching movies. I ordered a new flat screen from