Monday, September 21, 2020

"Evil Got to Be Fought with Evil" - House of the Living Dead (1974) - Film #187


Of all the films with "of the living dead" or "of the dead" in the title, nearly 100% involve the presence of zombies or similar living dead creatures. Therefore, we will now cover one of the most original films of this type, 1974's House of the Living Dead, a film that involves a house but no living dead. The staggering creativity of this film deserves to be heralded.

Some of your universe's critics do not appreciate creativity in film. For example, reviewer TheExpatriate700 writes, "House of the Living Dead disappoints in virtually every way, with absolutely no zombies to speak of, terrible pacing, and an absurd mixture of the supernatural and mad scientist genres." Reviewer dbborroughs writes, "Nothing compares to the endless inane dialog that just bores. Recommended only for insomniacs." And reviewer Chase_Witherspoon writes, "Worse than dull, it promises a great revelation, then fails to deliver."

You decide! Is it necessary for a "living dead" movie to have zombies, or some other form of the living dead? Read on...

Monday, September 7, 2020

“I’ll Show You How to Make Donuts” - The Child (1977) - Film #186


Won't someone please think of The Child (1977)? Robert Voskanian's pseudo-zombie film is one of several classics released between Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978), a group that includes The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974), Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972), The Grapes of Death (1978), and other explorations of zombie mythology. But among these classics, The Child stands high due to its thrilling climax and sense of mystery.

Not all of your universe's critics agree. For example, reviewer preppy-3 writes, "The story is thin and there is TONS of padding to make the film 85 minutes long. The acting is terrible across the board....Badly directed with some of the WORST editing I've ever seen in a motion picture." Reviewer mwold writes, "this is just crap-it's just soooo cheap, I think that's my major complaint." And reviewer thesparklingdemo20 writes, "This movie was seriously awful. The acting was the worst! It was worse than a student film."

Needless to say, these reviewers are obviously clinically insane. Please read on for a realistic appreciation of The Child...

Monday, August 24, 2020

"I Heard What You Said But Can You Say It in a Different Way?" - Runaway Nightmare (1982) - Film #184


I must point out the axiom that films intended by their filmmakers to be quirky "cult" movies generally do not rise to the level of high-quality films we discuss here on Senseless Cinema. Runaway Nightmare (1982) is a rare exception to that axiom, however. Although the filmmakers clearly aim for a whimsical, comedic, unusual effect, their work rises to a higher level than that of a mere "comedy." Runaway Nightmare is, in fact, an almost pure distillation of a nightmare captured on film.

Many of your universe's distinguished critics find the film to be either "bad" or "weird." For example, reviewer Michael_Elliott writes, "For my money this was one of the worst and most boring films I've ever seen. I mean, you've pretty much got nothing happening throughout the 93-minute running time. You keep watching the movie expecting something of interest to happen but it never does. The film continues to drag along and there's still nothing." Reviewer EyeAskance describes the film as a "thoroughly uncategorizable whatever-the-hell-it-is is far and away one of the most aberrant gonzo visions ever committed to celluloid." And reviewer Hey_Sweden writes, "Runaway Nightmare" is not going to be for people who prefer lots of action and explosions every few minutes. It's a very sedately paced and quirky little oddity."

Read on for a more objective view of this serious, shocking motion picture...

Monday, August 10, 2020

"You Don't Need Dinner in That Foggy City" - Warlock Moon (1973) - Film #184


It is time to consider another film in that classic category of works whose titles are questionably related to their content. In this case, 1973's Warlock Moon mentions neither warlocks nor moons, but it is a fine proto-slasher and precursor to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) (though it was released after Tobe Hooper's film).

Some of your universe's critics, as usual, choose to look down on Warlock Moon. For example, reviewer Gafke writes repetitively, "This film plods along for a very long time and keeps plodding on." Reviewer nogodnomasters writes dismissively, "Sorry, but this is not a cult classic or drive-in classic." And reviewer  arion1 writes tediously, "Sometimes it seems as though the actors themselves are deliberately moving slowly so as to use up time blocks."

For a more accurate description of the seminal film Warlock Moon, please read on...

Monday, July 27, 2020

“Like Capillaries Under a Microscope” - The Manipulator (1971) - Film #183


The great actor Mickey Rooney has graced a handful of horror films--including, of course, Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991); The Intruder (1975); and a 2012 movie called The Woods with which I'm unfamiliar that features Mr. Rooney, Franco Nero, Jon Polito, and Michael J. Pollard. One of his finest is The Manipulator (1971), an arthouse film about insanity and unrequited love.

Many, many of your universe's critics believe The Manipulator to be a poorly made film. For example, reviewer Ithseldy1 writes, "This movie is not only the most awful movie that I have ever seen, it makes no sense at all whatsoever!!" Reviewer very-tillotson-1 complains, "While trying to make sense of this horrible mess of a movie, I tried to understand why the once Hollywood legend, Mickey Rooney, had gotten mixed up in this atrocity?" And reviewer camcost writes, "Truthfully this film is totally hallucinogenic trash, perhaps one of the worst films I've ever watched."

Read on for details about Mickey Rooney in The Manipulator...

Monday, July 13, 2020

"Technology Doesn't Have Feelings" - Robowar (1988) - Film #182


It is probably redundant to claim that a film with Claudio Fragasso and/or Bruno Mattei in the credits is a masterpiece; those gentlemen are synonymous with the highest levels of filmmaking. Robowar (1988) is another example of their craftsmanship and their ability to take the barest hints of lesser films--in this case, The Terminator (1984), Predator (1987) and Robocop (also 1987)--and turn these ideas into far superior works of art.

Truthfully, I am getting exhausted by the failure of your universe's critics to recognize quality. Case in point: Reviewer err_42 writes, "This one is just a pain to watch....This movie is confounded by bad acting, lame dialogue, and from the looks of it, the script is only about 15 pages long!! It rarely makes any sense at any given time!...This film is rubbish!" Reviewer BandSAboutMovies writes, "On my deathbed, I will pull my family close and whisper, 'I only regret one thing. Robowar.'" And reviewer HaemovoreRex, who has the courage to admit to being a Bruno Mattei fan, writes, "Robowar is overall, a fairly bland affair. A real shame."

Not so! Please read on...

Monday, June 29, 2020

"I Could Use a Husky Man Like You out at My Poultry Ranch" - Blood Freak (1972) - Film #181


I assume everyone is aware of Brand Grinter and Steve Hawkes's Florida-set Blood Freak (1972), famous as perhaps the only anti-drug film in which a man turns into a turkey. No matter how great its fame, however, this film deserves an appreciation as a fine example of early 1970s regional horror.

Shockingly, some of your universe's critics are have "fowl" opinions of Blood Freak. For example, reviewer raymondnyc writes, "Bad acting is a staple of movies of this type, but when it's THIS bad it's just distracting." Review dfranzen70 writes (under the review title "Not So Bad It's Good," a title whose multiple negatives I must confess I cannot process), "The shoddy costume manages to distract the viewer from the purely amateurish acting and bottom-of-the-barrel script." And reviewer preppy-3 writes, "The script is terrible and (with the sole exception of Hawkes) all the acting is dreadful."

Clearly, these reviewers would benefit from the message of Blood Freak (i.e., drugs will turn you into a turkey-headed monster addicted to blood). Read on to see the true beauty and horror of Blood Freak...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Check Out My Novel -- The Nightmare Archive: A Secret History of Haunted Films

Just a note to let you know I have a novel available under my real (?) name. The novel is called The Nightmare Archive: A Secret History of Haunted Films. In the U.S., it's 99 cents to buy, and it's free to read on Kindle Unlimited. If it sounds interesting, check it out on Amazon. Thanks!


Monday, June 15, 2020

"The Most Traumatic Ordeal a Human Being Can Experience" - Night Killer (1990) - Film #180


Cinephiles frequently point to the work of Claudio Fragasso and Bruno Mattei when they discuss the high points of horror cinema in the 1980s and 1990s. Night Killer (1990) (aka Don't Open the Door 3) is an exemplary work by these two masters, a chilling portrait of psychological torture and experimentation handled with the taste, depth, and sophistication one would expect from Messrs. Fragasso and Mattei.

Oddly, some of your universe's critics view Night Killer negatively. For example, reviewer homecoming8 dismisses the film with the parting words, "For die hard fans of the genre only but don't get your hopes up because "Night Killer" has not much to offer." Reviewer BA_Harrison dismisses the film even further by declaring it "another godawful piece of low-rent horror garbage so bad that it has to be seen to be believed." And reviewer fanatic_movie_goer dismisses the film thusly: "It doesn't have any good characters, the directing is horrendous, the cutting is mushy, the score is bad..."

Of course, Night Killer is not to be dismissed so quickly. Please read on for a full appreciation...

Monday, June 1, 2020

"What Are You Going to Have for Dessert? A Stomach Pump?" - Girls Nite Out (1982) - Film #179


Slasher movies from the early 1980s are always a gold mine of cinematic quality, and Girls Nite Out (1982) (sometimes known as The Scaremaker) is no different, despite the fact that there is no girls nite out (or, for that matter, a girls' night out) depicted anywhere in the film.

Unfortunately, your universe's critics fail to see the pure ore in this particular gold mine. Reviewer callanvass writes insultingly, "This is one of the worst slashers I have ever seen, and I've seen a lot of slashers." Reviewer dagonseve writes coherently, "If the feel of a Slasher title is what you're after you'll be sorely disappointed when you discover that the film primarily focuses on college tomfoolery." And reviewer FieCrier writes dismissively, "Absolutely one of the worst slasher movies I have ever seen. As Jim Harper writes in his book on slashers, Legacy of Blood, 'Watch it if you have to, but you'll probably wish you hadn't.'"

Please read on for a less biased recounting of the seminal slasher film Girls Nite Out...

Monday, May 18, 2020

"'Why' Is the Most Overused Word in the English Language" - Graveyard Story (1991) - Film #178


Why don't we take this time to examine in great detail 1991's Graveyard Story, another Canadian film from the director of Beyond the Seventh Door, Bozidar D. Benedikt. While this film does not feature the cheekbones or hair of Mr. Lazar Rockwood, it does feature Mr. John Ireland.

Some of your universe's critics obviously misunderstand the works of Bozidar D. Benedikt's. For example, reviewer linseylockley writes, "The acting was like watching Middle School children in a poorly-directed play. The dialogue, also, was horribly written." Reviewer triso writes with some unwarranted bigotry, "This is a typical bad Canadian movie. There are no thrills, no chills and no spills." (This is inaccurate. I counted at least three spills.) And reviewer Leofwine_draca writes, "THE GRAVEYARD STORY turns into a standard kidnap thriller with some very bad acting from the supporting cast, particularly the woeful actors playing the gangsters."

How could these critics be so wrong? Please read on...