Monday, July 16, 2018

"What Are You Doing Here in America?" - Blood (1973)


At Senseless Cinema, we have neglected some of the acclaimed masters of horror, so let us start to dive into the filmography of one of the most celebrated and artistic of those masters: Andy Milligan. We will now discuss his 1973 film Blood, one of his most accessible and entertaining films.

Oddly, not all of your universe's critics are enraptured with Blood. For example, on IMDB, reviewer trashgang calls Blood "A low budget movie with almost no acting whatsoever." Reviewer Bezenby, apparently missing the point of the film, writes, "Well, here's my first Andy Milligan film, and I'm feeling fairly indifferent about it, even though I fully knew what to expect....All this leads to, mainly, is people standing around in period costumes, talking endlessly." In a contemporary review in Cinefantastique, John Duvoli writes uncharitably, "This mercifully short horror film is yet another horrid exercise from Andy Milligan....This, as the director's earlier efforts, should be avoided at all costs."

Let us analyze the film to show why it is not as horrid as these "reviewers" claim...

Monday, July 9, 2018

"Conquer the World! That's Me!" - Mutant War (1988)


Having already discussed Battle for the Lost Planet (1985), let us move quickly into a discussion of its sequel, Mutant War (1988), an equally astute investigation of the post-apocalyptic world with even more stop-motion monsters, and this time featuring the great Cameron Mitchell.

Monday, July 2, 2018

"It's Mostly Boring with a Little Bit of Violence Thrown In" - Battle for the Lost Planet (1985)


Let us now turn to prolific director Brett Piper's Battle for the Lost Planet (1985) aka Galaxy aka Galaxy Destroyer, one of a rare breed of science fiction film made for adults rather than children. This is clear from scenes of violence, a scene in which the two main characters make love and then must fend off a monster while nude, and in the profanity of the dialogue.

On IMDB, reviewer unbrokenmetal calls the film "Science fiction trash with ridiculous special effects." Reviewer leofwine_draca writes, "This is a very cheap film with a shot-in-the-woods vibe. There's a lot of cheesy action and many special effects, most of which aren't so special at all." (Unusually for films reviewed here, I could not find a third review of this film.)

I must take issue with the reviewers' common theme of insulting the film's special effects. While not computer generated, the effects are quite special indeed, even inspiring. Read on to find out more about this unique science fiction film...

Monday, June 25, 2018

"A Knowledge of the Human Anatomy Not Generally Found in the Average Person" - Night Ripper (1986)


As everyone knows, the mid-1980s were a treasure trove full of shot-on-video horror gems. One of the foremost gems is Night Ripper! (1986), written and directed by Jeff Hathcock and featuring one highly recognizable actor who struck it big in the 1990s.

Not all critics appreciate this film's charms. For example, reviewer Toronto85 writes, "The acting is awful, the music is terrible." Reviewer LuisitoJoaquinGonzalez writes, "The horrendous sound led me to believe that there wasn't even a boom mike...and the picture quality is – seriously – that of a camcorder." Similarly, reviewer IPreferEvidence writes, "The movie is really dated and some people like myself like that but I don't think that even the most hardcore 80s slasher fans would like this. Its boring and as mediocre as it gets."

Of course, these critics are incorrect. Read on for a discussion of the eminent qualities of Night Ripper!...

Monday, June 18, 2018

"I Still Got the Sugarplum Fairies Dancing in My Head" - Open House (1987)


It is always interesting when great filmmakers turn their attention to horror movies. Our topic today is the 1987 slasher film Open House, directed by the elite pair of director Jag Mundhra (Hack-O-Lantern) and writer David Mickey Evans (Radio Flyer and The Sandlot). Adding even more prestige to the film are actors Tiffany Bolling (Kingdom of the Spiders), sitcom veteran Leonard Lightfoot, and Don Adams's daughter, not to mention the redoubtable Adrienne Barbeau. A more star-studded production could hardly be imagined.

Despite all the star power, some reviewers in your universe do not understand Open House. For example, reviewer spyse writes, "This movie was the slowest and most boring so called horror that I have ever seen. I would include a comment on the plot but there was none." Similarly, reviewer callanvass writes, somewhat repetitively, "It is filled with laughable dialog and endless talky scenes that seem to go on forever. There is no entertainment value in this movie what so ever. As a matter of fact, it's completely void of it." Finally, reviewer dien simply writes, "The sheer amount of non-sense in this film is just unbearable."

I beg to disagree with Mr. dien, as I find the film bearable. Read on...


Monday, June 11, 2018

"Filthy Enough to Stink Out a Polecat" - The Redeemer: Son of Satan (1978)


Let us now discuss a protoslasher released months before Halloween (1978), The Redeemer: Son of Satan! aka Class Reunion Massacre. Like many protoslashers, this film foreshadows some of the elements of later, bigger, more popular slasher movies, particularly in this case the multiple costumes of Terror Train (1980) and Hollowgate (1988).

Your universe's critics are harsh in their reviews of this film, as they are with any movie that dares to discuss philosophy and attempts to bring true meaning to the cinema. As an example, on IMDB, reviewer tommyson writes, "This movie is a stupid, boring waste of time. the acting is some of the worst i've ever seen, the charachters are faceless sterotypes, the plot (if you can call it that) is absurd, the soundtrack is a loud, annoying rip off of halloween, and to add to all that, it just doesn't make any sense." Riddler_161 writes, " Terrible writing, coupled with worse editing, made for a nightmare of a movie." And Ben Larson writes, "Accompanied by some really irritating music. It didn't appear to know where to end, so it just kept going to some magical end that made no sense."

Needless to say, these reviews are quite misinformed. Like A Day of Judgment (1981), the film presents a lucid, compelling theological explanation of the effects of sin (i.e., sinners are killed for sinning). Please read on to learn more about this special film...

Monday, June 4, 2018

"Evil Can Happen Anywhere in the Universe, Just Like Love" - Return of the Boogeyman (1994)


In the genre of movies that are made up primarily of footage from previously released movies, the sequels to Uli Lommel's The Boogeyman (1980) are perhaps the most satisfying. Today we look at 1994's Return of the Boogeyman, directed by the talented co-director of The Chilling (1989), Deland Nuse.

Of course, not all critics see the genius in films such as Return of the Boogeyman. For example, on IMDB, reviewer Red-Barracuda writes, perhaps a little obtusely, "There is nothing here of value at all. This is worthless." Sic Coyote writes, with an interesting flair for spelling, that the film is "one of the biggest pieces of tripe I have ever scene." Reviewer TC-4 writes, "Everything about this total waste of my time makes me angry that anything this bad is sold....Any TV Movie would be a pleasure to watch after this turkey."

I disagree that any TV movie would be a pleasure to watch after Return of the Boogeyman. In fact, I am not certain I understand what that means. In any case, let us investigate Deland Nuse's filmic meditation on trauma, the supernatural, and a certain earlier film directed by Ulli Lommel...

Monday, May 28, 2018

“An Unpleasant Odor You Can’t Exactly Trace” - Last House on Massacre Street (1973)


Let us turn our attention to the 1973 film Last House on Massacre Street, which is also known as The Bride, a more appropriate but much less entertaining title. As you know, we at Senseless Cinema are big fans of minimalist horror films--see A Day of Judgment (1981), Night of 1,000 Cats (1972), and The Prey (1984)--and there are few films as minimal as Last House on Massacre Street.

Some critics, of course, fail to appreciate minimalism sufficiently. Reviewer princebuster82 writes that "the movie is kind of weak from a story standpoint....trods along at a sllooooowww pace, because the plot is so simple..." BA_Harrison writes that the film is "only 50% entertaining, the action suffering from some serious pacing issues, a lack of scares, a dearth of blood and guts..." Michael_Elliott writes, "The direction doesn't add any tension to the film and it just seems very flat. The performances are decent but they all manage to hit a few bad notes throughout."

Let us counter these opinions with some facts. Please read on to experience the existential dread of Last House on Massacre Street...

Monday, May 21, 2018

“I’ve Never Been Treated Like This Before! You’re a Vulgarian!” - The Suckling (1990)


Sometimes, it must be said, monsters are just monsters. Thus, it is remarkable and special when filmmakers with vision come along and show us that monsters can be more than just monsters. Francis Teri's The Suckling (1990) is an example of such vision; its monster is a metaphysical force that can shape the world in its image.

Some critics seem to focus on weak generalities rather than hard facts when viewing The Suckling. For example, reviewer Afollabi El-Sheikh Al Noor Mohammed writes, "Absolutely appalling....Don't even bother watching this, totally crap." Similarly, a reviewer with the highly trustworthy name lordzedd-3 writes under the witty heading "Suckling is the right name for it, because it sucks!" that the film's "lie about this being a true story and poor effects make this a poor movie." Reviewer Thanos Milios writes, "Even for a b-movie fan this movie can't be watched i don't know how i managed to watch that crap."

I must contradict Mr. Milios and assert that his movie can be watched. In fact, I will say it must be watched. Please read on...

Monday, May 14, 2018

"He's Trying to Stubborn His Way Out with His Fists" - Knife for the Ladies (1974)


In addition to monster Westerns (see for example 1973's Godmonster of Indian Flats and 1972's Curse of the Headless Horseman), the 1970s produced a small number of proto-slasher Westerns, such as 1974’s Knife for the Ladies (known on IMDB as "A Knife for the Ladies" despite the onscreen and poster title).

Predictably, your universe's critics are incapable of appreciating this pinnacle of Reviewer bensonmum2 writes incorrectly, "Overall, A Knife for the Ladies is one lousy movie. Neither the horror nor the Western elements work." Reviewer Michael_Elliott writes confusedly, "After watching the uncut version I must admit that I would have given anything to see it cut down....The film really kills itself because it just doesn't do anything right." Reviewer davannacarter writes uncharitably, "If it's trying to be a mystery, it fails because the movie gets so boring by the halfway mark that I fell asleep....Boring, boring, boring, even by 70s standards."

I do not mean to be contrary (read: I do mean to be contrary), but these reviews are objectively incorrect. In reality, Knife for the Ladies is a clever rumination on the differences between the modern world of the 1970s and the Western world of the 1870s. Read on for further insights...

Monday, May 7, 2018

"If You Need Anything, I Live at the Store" - Memorial Valley Massacre (1989)


It goes without saying that any film with the word "massacre" in its title is an instant classic (see Drive In Massacre, 1976) and Memorial Valley Massacre (1989) is no exception to that venerable rule. In fact, Memorial Valley Massacre features massacres of both reptiles and humans, so it is a doubly frightening example of the massacre subgenre. With its themes of city folks unable to survive in the wilderness, and its guest appearance by the great Cameron Mitchell, Robert C. Hughes's film is a fine late-1980s thriller.

Some of your universe's critics appear to disagree. For example, Rod Lott at Flick Attack writes, "The script is poor, the direction a notch below that and the acting even farther south." IMDB reviewer ResidentHazards writes, "The base concept behind the story isn't terrible, but since everything else was just done way wrong, there is no redeeming value." IMDB reviewer BaronBl00d writes, "But why make a film like this? It really has no message, little real humor, no great cinematography, and a real crummy story."

Read on for an unbiased look at the charms of Memorial Day Massacre...