Monday, August 13, 2018

"My Two Best Friends Have Been Killed, I Think By a Telephone" - Dial: Help (1988)


Ruggero Deodato is celebrated for many of the films he has directed, not to mention his cameo in Hostel: Part II, but one of his finest achievements is the stylish supernatural giallo Dial: Help (1988), also known by its Italian title Minaccia d'amore ("Threat of Love").

Some reviewers in your universe disagree that Dial: Help is one of Deodato's greatest works. For example, HumanoidOfFlesh writes, "The script by Franco Ferrini is ridiculous and it makes no sense,the acting is bad and there is absolutely no suspense." Michael A. Martinez writes, "It is truly saddening to see a once-great director such as Deodato delivering such a second-rate giallo such as this. This movie was so terrible it effectively put an end to his movie career." Reviewer davelawrence666 writes, "This film is embarassing....Definitely the lowest point in Ruggero's career."

Monday, August 6, 2018

"Bears Give Me Six Heart Attacks" - Blood Stalkers (1976)


We return now to the proto-slasher days with Blood Stalkers, also known as Bloodstalkers, a film with a copyright date of 1975 but a release date on IMDB of 1976. Probably one of the finest of all the proto-slashers, Blood Stalkers mixes old-fashioned drama with newfangled gore, and by the end of the film it teaches us all what a "bloodstalker" is.

Some of your universe's reviewers are ignorant of the charms of bloodstalkers as well as Blood Stalkers. On IMDB, reviewer reverendtom writes, “This is a pretty obscure, dumb horror movie set in the 1970s Everglades. It is really stupid and lame for the first half...” Reviewer b_kite writes, “Sadly, this thing is a hour and a half of nothing but boring plodding crap.” Similarly, lthseldy1 writes, “Lame. thats what this movie is.”

I must say I do not recognize the movie these three are reviewing. Let us proceed in our discussion of the spectacular early slasher film Blood Stalkers...


Monday, July 30, 2018

"These Are Not Natural People" - Curse of Demon Mountain (1977)


Curse of Demon Mountain (1977) aka The Shadow of Chikara is something of a supernatural horror Western, which alone is enough to recommend it, but the starring presence of Mr. Joe Don Baker pushes the film into classic territory.

Some of your universe's reviewers fail to appreciate this film under any of its titles. For example, reviewer William on IMDB sums up the movie thusly: "Pretty amateurish film with bad sound, bad lighting, and a cameo by Slim Pickens." Reviewer Mr. Pulse writes, "Joe Don Baker has made some slip ups in his time but truly, Demon Mountain, or Shadow of Chikara as it is listed here has to be up at the top of the heap. The film hurts. I mean physical torture." Reviewer Ben Larson writes, confusingly I must say, "Well, they head to the cursed mountain, and they find diamonds along with the curse - too bad."

The film must be reviewed objectively, and clearly I must be the one to do it. Read on for details about the classic Curse of Demon Mountain, starring the classic Joe Don Baker...

Monday, July 23, 2018

"I'll Try Anything for Pleasure" - Torture Dungeon (1970)


After covering Andy Milligan's Blood (1973), let us turn to an earlier work of the maestro, but one that is no less a classic, 1970's Torture Dungeon.

On IMDB, Michael_Elliott writes, "TORTURE DUNGEON lives up to its title with it being "torture" to get through it." Reviewer leofwine_draca writes that "it's a very tame and tawdry affair and there's barely any of the bloodshed suggested by the title." In a review titled "It's Torture All Right," reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "Milligan fails spectacularly on almost every level. The costumes are cheap, the location work is terrible...the gore effects are risible, the dialogue is stilted, and the cast cannot disguise their Noo Yoik roots."

It is necessary to respond to these reviewers by looking at Torture Dungeon in detail. Please read on...


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...