Monday, February 22, 2021

“Must Have Been Some Phone Pervert” - Shadows Run Black (1984) - Film #198


Following in the footsteps of The Zodiac Killer (1971) and to a lesser extent Another Son of Sam (1977), Shadows Run Black (1984, or 1981, or 1986?) is an exploitation slasher film that takes some of its contents from recent true-life serial killings, in this case the Night Stalker murders terrorizing Los Angeles in 1984, despite the fact that it begins as a deep-woods slasher film.

As usual, some of your universe's critics have reviewed Shadows Run Black poorly. For example, reviewer davido-2 writes, "The dodgy lighting and wooden sets are here in all their glory,obviously a very low-budget effort all round." Reviewer Angelus-16 calls the film "One of the very worst slasher films ever made." And reviewer Coventry writes, "'Shadows Run Black' is a misogynic, incoherent, clichéd, zero-budgeted and laughably inept slasher attempt."

Read on for the truth about Shadows Run Black...

Monday, February 8, 2021

"I’m Tired of You Stumblebumming Around Here Day After Day" - The Night of the Strangler (1972) - Film #197


The legendary Mickey Dolenz was not, surprisingly, a prolific movie star. Four years after the end of his TV series The Monkees, however, he starred in Joy N. Houck Jr.'s The Night of the Strangler (1972), a hard-hitting, gritty drama that confronted 1970s racism head-on.

Not all your universe's critics appreciate such sharp drama. For example, reviewer Wizard-8 writes, “The movie is kind of slow and sluggish, padded out with a lot of filler, so much so that some characters are off the screen for significant portions of time."Reviewer AlsExGal writes, “The acting is bad, the script is worse, and the filmmaking comes in dead last.” And reviewer a-chinn writes, “It's a super cheap production without any real scares or suspense."

Read on...

Monday, January 25, 2021

“I’ll Come Looking For You to Feed on Your Intestines” - Zombie 4: After Death (1989) - Film #196


At the risk of covering only Claudio Fragasso films in order to pay appropriate tribute to the master, let us turn to Claudio Fragasso's Zombie 4: After Death (1989), part of the film "series" originated either by Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2/Zombie/Zombie Flesh Eaters (1980) or George Romero's Dawn of the Dead/Zombi (1978). As always, Mr. Fragasso and his wife Rosella Drudi effortlessly put their own stamp on a film that might be considered constrained by the expectations of the genre.

Some critics are uncharitable about Mr. Fragasso's film (one might even jump to the conclusion that critics are biased against Mr. Fragasso). For example, reviewer alanbill1074 writes, "Having been a huge fan of the original Zombie Flesh Eaters, this film was a bitter disappointment, bearing absolutely no connection to the first film. The acting and direction are below par, even for low budget horror, and the 'zombies' are laughable." Reviewer Maciste_Brother writes, "Anyway, it's only worth seeing if you're a horror completist, enjoy Euro horror or are a zombie freak. No one else should see this abomination." And reviewer RashaTheGreat writes, "This movie represents the absolute lowest point in Italian Zombie cinema."

Read on for the truth about Zombie 4: After Death...

Monday, January 11, 2021

“I Can’t Understand Why Things Like This Go On” - Another Son of Sam (1977) - Film #195


One subgenre that consistently contributes more than its fair share to the quality of world cinema is the protoslasher that references real serial killers. While arguably less focused on real-world crimes than The Zodiac Killer (1971), Dave Adams's Another Son of Sam (1977) is a sincere and successful attempt to scare its audience by showing them that dangerous killers can exist in even the most mundane places.

Some critics are oddly unimpressed with Dave Adams's vision of realism. For example, reviewer Wizard-8 writes, "For the most part this movie will test the patience of even the most forgiving viewers." Reviewer snicewanger writes, "I don't know whose idea it was to make this film, but they should be locked in a padded room." And reviewer jellopuke is so unimpressed, I will quote the entirety of their misguided review: "This is incredibly amateurish in all ways with a terrible script, terribly edited (with strange freeze frames everywhere), terrible actors giving terrible dialogue, and a beyond boring pace. STAY FAR AWAY. This is 75 minutes of your life you will never get back. Do ANYthing else with your precious time on this earth. PLEASE."

In actuality, one could hardly find a more productive use of 75 minutes than viewing Another Son of Sam. Read on to find out why...

Monday, December 28, 2020

“It’s a Natural Brother-Sister-Girlfriend Thing” - The Chill Factor (1993) - Film #194


Let us turn to 1993's The Chill Factor, in which a fun-loving group of snowmobilers gets more than they bargained for (in fact, they did no bargaining) when they are forced to take shelter in a snowbound lodge.

Some of your universe's critics are less than charitable in their views of The Chill Factor. For example, reviewer mariajonasfahlsing writes, "Bad special effects, terribly cheesy soundtrack...forgettable characters, a narrator who sounds like he/she (I can't tell) smoked 3 packs a day from birth, and a non-ending (rather, the movie just stops with no real explanation as to what happened or why), I am so glad that this awful flick is over." Reviewer ethyl ester writes, "As far as acting go [sic], this movie was the pits." And reviewer ThyDavideth writes, "The Chill Factor is a movie that laughably tries so desperately to be serious and boy can you hear it through its serious narration from a woman that sounds like she smoked one too many cigarettes."

Please read on for a more realistic appreciation of The Chill Factor...

Monday, December 14, 2020

“Change Our Name and Live on Beans” - Deadly Love (1987) - Film #193


Let us now return to the world of Michael S. O'Rourke, writer/director of Moonstalker (1989) and writer of Hellgate (1989). We will take up his earlier film Deadly Love (1987), a supernatural tale of romance and revenge.

Some of your universe's critics fail to appreciate Mr. O'Rourke's work. For example, reviewer robynheavner writes, "Don't waist [sic] your time with this one. Poor wooden acting. Poor executed story line. I feel [sic] asleep." Reviewer it001k0306 writes, "Poor acting, poor lighting, poor sound, poor script. A ridiculous amount of boring flashbacks - this is bad!" And reviewer future_imperfect writes, "Slow-moving enough to induce a coma, uniformly wooden acting, with a take on the supernatural that usually only appears in bad Gothic literature and 'Scooby-Doo'. I want my 90 minutes back."

Please read on for the truth about Michael S. O'Rourke's Deadly Love...

Monday, November 30, 2020

“Either You Cut My Hand Off or I Kill You” - Demonoid (1981) - Film #192


Let us turn to the 1981 film Demonoid, a film from the writer of The Bees (1978) so ambitious it begins in the caves of Guanajuato, Mexico and takes us to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Demonoid is a recognized classic, of course, but there are still some of your universe's critics that have a low opinion of the film. For example, reviewer Rodrig Andrisan writes, "There are no words to express how stupid it is this film." Reviewer The_Void writes, "the film is still very boring and the swiftness in the story's movement seems to be a lame attempt to mask this." And reviewer Scarecrow-88 writes, "The plot is preposterous, the severed hand gags are lame and laughable, and the actors attack their parts with an absolute seriousness which had to have been extremely difficult under the circumstances."

It is time to put these misconceptions to rest. Please read on for an accurate appreciation of Alfredo Zacarias's film Demonoid...

Monday, November 16, 2020

"I Like Pudding" - The Body Beneath (1970) - Film #191


It is time to return to the wonderful world of Andy Milligan. The Body Beneath (1970) is Mr. Milligan's take on a modern update of Dracula, made two years before the Hammer film Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972). As always, Mr. Milligan's vision is unique and, it goes without saying, brilliant.

As always (again), some of your universe's critics do not appreciate Mr. Milligan's works. Reviewer thenodradioshow writes, "Nonsensical garbage, cheesy costumes and long meaningless dialog. Seriously sucks." Reviewer nogodnomasters writes, "The acting was terrible as was the plot, make-up, and sound." And reviewer The_Void writes, "No film made with as little enthusiasm as this is ever going to be interesting."

Please read on to read the truth about Andy Milligan's The Body Beneath...

Monday, November 2, 2020

“The Last Time You Men Got Together, Another Man Lost His Arm" - The Severed Arm (1972) - Film #190


Let us turn now to the influential protoslasher The Severed Arm (1972), a film that belies its title by featuring the severing of several arms.

Not all critics in your universe appreciate this historic film. For example, reviewer Speechless writes, "The story might have been interesting, but it falls apart under the burden of terrible acting, dialogue, music, and photography. Even giving the filmmakers the ultra-low-budget benefit of the doubt, this is just a badly made, boring movie." Reviewer trspamfile writes, "The acting quite honestly is about on par with porn -- I say this without exaggeration. The cinematography looks like something shot by a community theater, and the characters are the most unlikeable ever written." And reviewer BSGG99 writes, "This is possibly one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Boring, stupid, terribly written, acted, directed, you name it, you can be sure that it was bad."

Of course, these reviewers display their lack of taste through their reviews, as it serves as the blueprint for many horror movies to come. Please read on for a thorough appreciation of The Severed Arm...

Monday, October 19, 2020

“I’ve Been Being Stalked for Years” - Death by 1000 Cuts (2020) - Film #189


Most of the movies we cover on Senseless Cinema are classics from the 1970s and 1980s that have stood the test of time. But there are more recent films that become, instantly, instant classics. Andrew Getty's The Evil Within (2017) comes to mind, as does the first segment of Glenn Danzig's Verotika (2020), a film so boldly abstract that the projector in a cinema is represented by a fan with a lamp behind it sitting on a shelf. Another of these classics is Sam Salerno's Death by 1000 Cuts (2020), a feature-length expansion of a well-received 2019 short film.

Some of your universe's critics, as always, misinterpret the considerable qualities of this film. Reviewer Herb Gallow writes, “The acting is brutal, even by microbudget standards, and the script makes little sense, to the point that it becomes harder and harder to care about what's happening the further this goes.” And reviewer Dako17 writes, “The acting and kill scenes are so poorly done I still just feel like I'm watching some friends make a sh*t movie.”

Read on to experience the wonders of the modern classic Death by 1000 Cuts...

Monday, October 5, 2020

"We Don't Need No Appointment" - Mansion of the Doomed (1976) - Film #188


Everyone loves prolific actor Michael Pataki, star of Dream No Evil (1970), Grave of the Vampire (1972), and Graduation Day (1981), among many other films. It is now time to dive into one of his few directorial efforts, Mansion of the Doomed (1976), produced by Charles Band with effects work by the legendary Stan(ley) Winston.

Some of your universe's critics are characteristically unkind to Mr. Pataki's directorial debut. For example, reviewer marcburrage writes, "This is trash, pure and simple." Reviewer insomniac_rod writes, "The movie wasn't just done correctly." And reviewer poolandrews writes, "My biggest problem with it is that it's all rather dull and forgettable, and a little bit slow."

Read on for the truth about Mansion of the Doomed...