Monday, June 24, 2019

"Yes! But Not Really" - Necromancer (1988)


Having already sung the praises of Necromancy (1972), let us now turn to Necromancer (1988), directed by Dusty Nelson, who had made the Pittsburgh-based horror film Effects (1980) with Tom Savini and Joe Pilato before turning to martial arts films. Necromancer is a classic example of a colorful 1980s supernatural horror film, and it features the charming Russ Tamblyn.

Not everyone appreciates Necromancer, of course. Reviewer anxietyresister writes, with a measure of what might be called sexism, "a tedious affair, with fake blood & guts galore and far too many shots of blokes in their underpants." The famous reviewer Mike_T-Little_Mtn_Sound_Archive writes, "When it was released, it was pretty cheesy, but rewatching this movie 30+ years later, it just doesn't hold up." And reviewer BA_Harrison (a critic I am beginning to believe does not like any of the classics) writes that the film is "a fairly dreadful straight-to-video bottom shelf filler, with weak performances and woeful visual effects."

How dreadful is Necromancer? Not dreadful at all! Read on to see why...

Monday, June 17, 2019

"Everybody Plays Tennis" - Devil's Express (1976)


One genre that we have not given its full due here on Senseless Cinema is the blaxploitation/martial arts/monster film. Let us correct that with a discussion of Devil's Express (1976) aka Gang Wars.

Some of your universe's critics are inexplicably unkind to Devil's Express. Reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "Technically inept (several scenes feature characters talking but we can hear no dialogue), poorly written (horrible jive street-talk is taken to the max) and dreadfully directed (the fight scenes are laughable), The Devil's Express is, without a doubt, a terrible film." Reviewer Bloodwank writes, "Sadly the monster scenes are quite weak and there are only a couple of gore shots." And reviewer El-Stumpo describes the film as "Bad acting, ham-fisted fighting and peppered with the most gut-wrenchingly exaggerated jive."

These critics are quite mistaken, of course. Please read on to see how mistaken they are...

Monday, June 10, 2019

“That Was the Name on the Mailbox” - Deadly Prey (1987)


Let us continue to explore the deep, deep well of quality that is the filmography of the late David A. Prior. Beyond Sledge Hammer (1983) and Aerobi-Cide (1987), we move to his action classic Deadly Prey (1987),  fine showcase for Mr. Prior’s brother Ted that also features Cameron Mitchell and Troy Donahue in pivotal roles.

Some critics are immune to Deadly Prey's considerable charms. For example, reviewer plantostickthat writes, "EVERYTHING about this movie is poor. EVERYTHING." Reviewer sunznc writes that the audience is "subjected to bad sound, bad editing, horrible dialog and a tedious, relentless 88 minutes of men chasing other men and pretending to be blown up by low budget grenades and gun fire. But the acting isn't just bad, it's PAINFUL! " And reviewer richard__ writes, "It was far and away the worst film I have ever come across. Deserves to be the #1 all-time worst ;-) No acting, no plot, very little speaking." (I would ask richard__ when "speaking" became a measure of the quality of a film. Never, that is when.)

Despite the opinions of these "critics," Deadly Prey is an acknowledged classic of the action genre, and it begs to be studied in great deal. Please read on...

Monday, June 3, 2019

"Do an Autopsy on His Face" - Aerobi-Cide aka Killer Workout (1987)


It is time to follow the career of late director David A. Prior and his actor brother Ted Prior with Aerobi-Cide (1987) aka Killer Workout. We have discussed their first film, Sledge Hammer (1983), but it must be said that his third film, Aerobi-Cide, could be considered an even more accomplished film.

Unfortunately, not all of your universe's critics can be unbiased about Aerobi-Cide. For example, a reviewer coincidentally named KillerWorkout writes, "This movie is without a doubt the worst horror movie I've ever seen." Similarly, reviewer runiously writes, "This is the worst slasher film I have ever seen." And reviewer impossiblehim writes, "The plot is paper thin and ridiculous, the acting is an abomination, the script is completely laughable."

Read on for a deep discussion of this classic film, including the lyrics to several of its memorable workout songs...

Monday, May 27, 2019

“An Hysterical Woman on My Back" - Carnival of Blood (1970)


Not to be confused with Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973) or Carnival of Souls (1962) or Carnival of Souls (1998) or Carnival of Crime (1962) or Blood Circus (1981) or Circus of Horrors (1960), Carnival of Blood (1970) is a chilling and violent mystery featuring the big screen debut of Oscar nominee Burt Young.

Several critics from your universe confuse the film's raw power with something else. For example, reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "Sluggish pacing and terrible acting from all involved make the film a real challenge to sit through, but Carnival of Blood's biggest problem is its repetitiveness." Reviewer TheLittleSongbird writes, "The movie is very clumsily edited with lighting that does nothing to enhance the mood and very amateurish-looking effects." And reviewer preppy-3 writes, "The dialogue is terrible and the acting is even worse."

Please read on for a discussion of the complexities of taxi driver and adult film impresario Leonard Kirtman's Carnival of Blood...

Monday, May 20, 2019

“He’s Just Irish Like Most of Them Up Here” - Savage Weekend (1978)


Let us return to that proverbial diamond mine of high-quality films--the rural protoslasher--and discuss 1978's Savage Weekend, featuring acting powerhouses David Gale and William Sanderson in supporting roles.

Reviewer coventry writes, "This movie is bad, and not just low-budget bad but really BAD to the third degree. We're talking incoherent screenplay, insufferable characters, long stretches of boredom where absolutely nothing happens, predictable twists, laughable killing sequences and utterly senseless dialogs." Reviewer chrisbrown6453 writes, "What the heck is this? Is this even a horror film?....I feel as though I've lost 5% brain cells having watched this crap." And reviewer greenflea2 writes, "Other than the sex and boobs, the story is completed trash, low budget and daft."

Read on to discover the truth about Savage Weekend...

Monday, May 13, 2019

“Not Exactly a Norman Rockwell” - Silent Madness (1984)


It is time to discuss the classic Silent Madness (1984) aka Silent Madness in 3-D, starring the charming Belinda Montgomery of Man from Atlantis fame. Made by one of the directors who contributed to the infamous movie Snuff (1975), Silent Madness is one of the finer slasher films of 1984.

Some critics refuse to admit that Silent Madness is a classic. Reviewer BA_Harrison writes that the film is "over-talky, virtually bloodless, and lacking in style." Reviewer dagonseve writes, somewhat confusingly, "Silent Madness is a mistake of a film...it can easily be shelved into the Z-grade bank of Slasher-types made possible by hack directors who treated the genre like a playground for Down syndrome children. This colossal number of mishaps supersedes a figure unimaginable." And reviewer Coventry writes, "Admittedly most contemporary teen slasher movies suffer from a lack of originality, but Simon Nuchtern's film is truly an amassment of clichés, stereotypes, predictable plot twists and trite killings."

Read on if you want to know the truth about colossal mishaps and unimaginable figures and trite killings...

Monday, May 6, 2019

“Could We Have a Dracula Running Loose Out There?” - Bog (1979)


Classic Wisconsin cinema is not limited to the masterworks of Bill Rebane (see The Capture of Bigfoot, 1979; The Game, 1984; and Blood Harvest, 1987) or to the charms of The Pit (1981). One of the finest Wisconsin films is Don Keeslar's Bog (1979), a film that shares similarities with Bill Rebane's earlier Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake (1975), but which adds fascinating actors like Aldo Ray, Gloria De Haven, and Marshall Thompson of the TV series Daktari (1966-1969) and of course Ark II (1976-1976).

A selection of your universe's critics' reactions to this classic: Reviewer Pretentious_crap (clearly the reviewer's given name, unlike some of these ridiculous pseudonyms) writes, "When all is said and done, this movie is boring and irritating." Reviewer tavives writes, "My God, this movie is awful....The acting is abysmal, the editing is ridiculous." And reviewer t_brown_17 writes, "BOG is one of those movies that cannot be described in words. Well, that is, if the words 'atrocious' and 'stomach-churning' and 'mind-boggling' aren't in your vocabulary." Needless to say, these reviewers have missed the point of the film...and they have missed the proverbial boat. Please read on...

Monday, April 29, 2019

“Why Would Anyone Want to Kill an Old Caretaker?” - Monster Dog (1984)


We must continue our exploration of the films of Claudio Fragasso, and what better entry point could there be than the famous Alice Cooper vehicle Monster Dog (1984)?

Unfortunately, not all your universe's critics appreciate Monster Dog, or Mr. Fragasso for that matter. Reviewer tom_stratford writes, "Absolutely one of the worse films ever made." Reviewer Zorin-2 writes, "After I watched it I decided it was not worth the plastic it was made with and the paper it was printed on. It had horrible acting (including Alice Cooper) and really fake looking special effects." And reviewer tom-1908 writes, "This is, quite simply, the worst film I have ever seen. Not so bad it's good; just so bad. So very, very bad. Not one single person involved with it was even remotely competent in any way."

Needless to say, these reviewers are clearly confused about the difference between a bad film and a classic. Let us jump into the film and see if we can tell the difference. Please read on...

Monday, April 22, 2019

“Now I’m Having Kinetic Nightmares” - Dream Stalker (1991)


It is time to discuss the surreal shot-on-video classic Dream Stalker from 1991, an inspired variation on the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

Some reviewers in your universe do not sufficiently respect Dream Stalker for its achievements. For example, reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "A super-naff, A Nightmare On Elm Street-inspired, shot-on-video crapfest, Dream Stalker is poorly acted, badly scripted, unimaginatively directed, and blighted by terrible pacing and horrible sound quality (much of the dialogue is almost impossible to hear)." Reviewer woodyanders writes a list of the film's characteristics, most of which are transparently ridiculous: "slack (non)direction by Christopher Mills, a plodding pace, cheesy gore, rinky-dink (not so) special effects, some tasty gratuitous nudity, a seriously scorching soft-core sex scene, a meandering narrative, tinny sound, rough cinematography, a tacky synthesizer score, zero tension or spooky atmosphere, and crummy acting from a lame no-name cast."

Are these reviewers dreaming? Read on to find out...

Monday, April 15, 2019

"What Kind of a Commando Are You?" - Hell of the Living Dead (1980)


If there are four words (and a comma) that define high-quality cinema, they are the following: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso. These filmmakers had their collective fingers on the collective pulse of the collective filmgoing public in the 1980s, and one of their finest achievements is the combined zombie/cannibal film Hell of the Living Dead (1980), aka Zombie Creeping Flesh aka Virus aka Night of the Zombie(s).

Oddly, a few of your universe's critics fail to appreciate this epic film. Reviewer Nic673 writes, "I`ve seen elementary students who could write a better script than this awful movie." Reviewer Kazetnick writes, "This is, without reservation, the worst zombie film I have ever seen. And I've seen almost all of them." And reviewer squeezebox writes (in addition to creating the word "plagiary") that the film "moves at such a maddeningly slow pace, it's an endurance test just to stay awake. Almost all its attempts at horror, whether it's gore or atmosphere, fall flat, and it's plagiary of dialogue, plot points and even MUSIC (stolen directly from the DAWN OF THE DEAD soundtrack) from it's superior predecessors is shameless."

Is the film a classic or the worst zombie film ever made? Or both? Please read on...