Monday, October 18, 2021

“You’ve Quite a Repertoire of Chilling Tales” - Bloody Moon (1981) - Film #215

While Jess Franco is an acknowledged master of the horror genre, we have not paid much attention to him on Senseless Cinema, outside of our discussion of She Killed in Ecstasy (1971). We will remedy that in part by covering Mr. Franco's stylish blend of slasher and giallo film (slallo? giasher??), 1981's Bloody Moon, also known as Die Sage des Todes or The Saw of Death. Bloody Moon is not based on a Francois Truffaut film like She Killed in Ecstasy, as far as I know, but that should not be held against it.

Some of your universe's critics apparently hold something against the film. For example, reviewer paulgeaf writes, "Not scary or thrilling(apart from the odd breast), just absolutely horrible to watch." (For the record, I must state that none of the breasts appeared odd to me.) Reviewer tomgillespie2002 writes about Franco, "While I have only seen a small handful of his films (all pretty bad), this is undoubtedly the worst I've seen." And reviewer Horst_in_Translation writes, "As a whole, this was a failure with regard to almost everything. I absolutely don't recommend the watch."

Read on for the truth about Jess Franco's Bloody Moon...

Monday, October 4, 2021

“If I Could Teach Him to Place His Tongue in the Right Way...” - Maniac Killer (1987) - Film #214

While most movies are dull and lifeless affairs, Maniac Killer (1987) was destined to be a classic from the start. Not only was it directed by the legendary Andrea Bianchi of Burial Ground (1985) fame, it stars a trio of peerless gentlemen: Chuck Connors, Bo Svenson, and Robert Ginty. With such creative forces at the proverbial helm and in the proverbial crew, how could Maniac Killer be anything less than fantastic?

Some reviewers mistakenly believe Maniac Killer is less than fantastic. For example, reviewer Mathis_Vogel sums up the film thusly: "Nothing happens." And stalwart reviewer BA_Harrison (before referring to the film as "bottom-of-the-barrel horror") writes, "It's hard to believe that director Andrea Bianchi and his cast were actually working from a script when making Maniac Killer, such is the general slipshod nature of the movie. It bears all the hallmarks of a film made at speed with very little preparation and on the tightest budget possible."

Read on for the truth about Andrea Bianchi's Maniac Killer...

Monday, September 20, 2021

“Why Does the Barrier Keep Us In and Them Not?” - Dark Future (1994) - Film #213

We have never covered Greydon Clark's films on Senseless Cinema, a blind spot that we will not remedy as we discuss Mr. Clark's 1994 post-apocalypse film Dark Future.

As usual, your universe's top critics fail to understand the visionary film that is Dark Future. Reviewer bensonmum2 writes, "Dark Future is complete and utter garbage. Everything imaginable is about as bad as you'll find in a movie." Reviewer Aaron1375 writes, "So, it is not very good, just goes all over the place." And reviewer Mike-336 writes, "The directing, acting, production quality, and overall feel is not one of quality."

Read on for an informed opinion about Greydon Clark's masterful science fiction film...

Monday, September 6, 2021

“Just Talk it Over with the Axe Killer” - Edge of the Axe (1988) - Film #212

Now is a good time to review another of the later films directed by José Ramón Larraz, Edge of the Axe (1988). Here, Mr. Larraz abandons the supernatural mystery of the previous year's Rest in Pieces (1987) to create an atmospheric slasher movie with some gialloesque trappings, perhaps practicing for his somewhat more subdued slasher film Deadly Manor (1990).

Some of your universe's critics fail to understand Mr. Larraz's oeuvre. For example, reviewer movieman_kev writes, "This was one of the more forgettable slasher films from the late 1980's, having nothing special to distinguish it from any myriad of similar sub-par slashers." Reviewer bombersflyup writes, "Edge of the Axe is pretty damn awful, offering next to nothing, with a nonsense plot and any lack of reasoning." And reviewer barbell_28 writes, "The acting, although i expected to be sub par, was sub sub par, the story was boring and the kills were so cheesy i just didnt care. The characters are unlikable. Its just a bad movie all around."

Read on for a fair assessment of the slasher classic that is Edge of the Axe...

Monday, August 23, 2021

"A Monument to St. Bubba of the Demolition Derby" - Deadly Manor (1990) - Film #211

Continuing with our appreciation of the later career of José Ramón Larraz, who also directed Rest in Pieces (1987), let us turn to 1990's Deadly Manor, an innovative slasher film with almost no slashing.

Let us look at some of your universe's critic reviews. Reviewer benjithehunter writes, "Deadly Manor is one of the worst movies I've ever been unfortunate enough to view." Reviewer amandagellar-31077 writes, "Nothing about Deadly Manor makes any sense. Even the premise itself is silly." And reviewer michellegriffin-04989 writes, "Deadly Manor...happens to be one of the most boring movies I've ever seen in my life."

Needless to say, these reviews are entirely incorrect. Please read on...

Monday, August 9, 2021

“Pages of Dynamite Horrible Stuff” - Deadline (1980) - Film #210

Let us now discuss the 1980 Canadian horror film Deadline, a film that proves that self-loathing is good for the soul. Unlike most of the films we discuss here at Senseless Cinema, Deadline is a relatively well reviewed movie, but make no mistake -- it is still from a different universe than yours, a universe where horror movies can hate horror movies and still be horror movies. Because of the film's many good reviews, I will forego the usual list of misguided critical assessments and jump straight to my appreciation of the fascinatingly self-loathing film Deadline. Please read on...

Monday, July 26, 2021

“How Can We Leave With All This Money Just Lying Around?” - Rest in Pieces (1987) - Film #209


Although Spanish director José Ramón Larraz has received a fair amount of acclaim, his near-masterpiece Rest in Pieces (1987) is rarely included in a list of his best films. This is curious, as the film is a perfect example of the violent, supernatural, murder mystery with no mystery, one of the most underrated of the horror subgenres.

Some of your universe's critics dismiss Rest in Pieces unfairly. For example, reviewer TeenVamp writes, "Movies like this being released on blu ray makes my brain hurt. Why? It sucks." Reviewer soggycow writes, ""Rest in Pieces" is not a very good movie. In fact, I found this movie to be quite a bore." And reviewer In_tru_der writes eloquently, "This movie is not good, it's supposed to be horror, but it didn't frighten me at all."

Read on for a fair, unbiased appreciation of one of José Ramón Larraz's finest films, Rest in Pieces...

Monday, July 12, 2021

“Combining the Supernatural with Physics” - Fatal Exam (1990) - Film #208

Today's entry in the annals of Senseless Cinema is the St. Louis-set Fatal Exam (1990), directed by Jack Snyder, who would later direct several films and TV movies, and in fact claim in his IMDB biography that his first film was the St. Louis-shot Ghost Image (2007). Fatal Exam is a fine example of regional filmmaking made with character and intelligence and the presumably overwhelming urge to make sure the audience understands everything that is going on at every second, even if this requires characters to repeat the same information dozens of times.

Oddly, some of your universe's critics mistake the film's clarity for dullness. For example, reviewer itchy_cnp writes, "This movie is excruciatingly turned into an endurance exercise." Reviewer allentitinik-83208 writes, "No idea what I just watched." And reviewer Eric Cotenas of DVD Drive-In writes, "FATAL EXAM is "fatally" overlong and flat-out boring at 114 minutes."

Of course, a film like Fatal Exam is to be savored, and critics with taste would never complain about its length. Please read on for a proper appreciation of Fatal Exam...

Monday, June 28, 2021

"Ever Made It on a Grave?" - Hack-O-Lantern (1988) - Film #207

We have already explored Open House (1987) and The Jigsaw Murders (1989), so it is time to immerse ourselves in another of Jag Mundhra's finest films, 1988's Hack-O-Lantern, aka Halloween Night. Full of cult rituals and slasher murders (though, surprisingly, mostly free of jack-o-lanterns), Hack-O-Lantern fits comfortably and entertainingly in the tradition of late-1980s slasher films.

Some of your universe's critics are not as positive as they are required to be. For instance, reviewer LuisitoJoaquinGonzalez writes (in a sentence I confess I fail to understand fully), "What started as an engaging synopsis ended as a nonsensical mishap and the lack of any originality or flair for the macabre defined the movie to the ever growing video graveyard." Reviewer gwnightscream describes the film as an "80's horror/slasher flick with shoddy dialogue and cheesy acting." And reviewer yourmotheratemydog715 writes, "It feels super padded, even at 90 minutes, what with random five-minute glam metal dream sequences and a head-scratching, unfunny stand-up comedy routine that grinds all the Satanic action to a halt."

Read on for the truth about Jag Mundhra's classic Hack-O-Lantern...

Monday, June 14, 2021

“You Have Personally Seen this Toupee?” - The Jigsaw Murders (1989) - Film #206

After his first American film, Open House (1987), and his second American film, Hack-O-Lantern (1988), Indian director Jag Mundhra moved away from horror to begin a long and successful run of erotic thrillers, beginning with 1989's The Jigsaw Murders.

Some of your universe's critics are not sufficiently kind to The Jigsaw Murders. For example, reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "It's banal, unexciting, tedious, and trite." And reviewer Michael_Elliott writes, "we're pretty much left with a film that doesn't have any thrills and in most ways is pretty forgettable."

Read on for a proper appreciation of Jag Mundhra's The Jigsaw Murders...

Monday, May 31, 2021

"I Hope It's Not a Gingerbread House" - Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1987) - Film #205

Although it might not reach the cinematic heights of Claudio Fragasso's Zombie 4: After Death (1989), the follow-up film in the "series," Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1987, oddly), is a sober supernatural film about doomed bird-watchers that features the always reliable and always entertaining Robert Vaughn.

Your universe's critics are as harsh about Zombie 5 as about other post-Fulci films in the series. Reviewer movieman_kev writes, "Horrid acting, unsympathetic characters, lackluster plot, lack of action and insipid plot all combine to make this one to miss." Reviwer OnePlusOne writes, "In the end it's simply mind numbingly dull." And reviewer oskar-jungell-611-182266 writes, "I can't find anything that works here. The camera works, the audio, the plot, the acting, the effects... It's just not good. There is nothing good about it."

Read on for the truth about Claudio Lattanzi and Joe D'Amato's Zombie 5: Killing Birds...