Monday, March 30, 2020

"Be Hospitable and Gay" - Dream No Evil (1970) - Film #174

It is time to return to the world of one of horror's most underappreciated auteurs, John Hayes, director of Grave of the Vampire (1972), Garden of the Dead (1972), and End of the World (1977), among several other non-horror films. Dream No Evil is the thoughtful, surreal story of a woman's descent into madness and, possibly, murder.

Not all of your universe's critics appreciate the subtlety of Dream No Evil. For example, reviewer Coventry writes, ""Dream No Evil" is easily one of the most pointless films I ever sat through." Reviewer jacobconnelly-47681 writes, "It's a tedious, slow journey into absolute nothingness." On a more positive note, reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "I would hesitate to call Dream No Evil a good film."

Is Dream No Evil a good film? Please read on...

Monday, February 24, 2020

“Join Me...Old Crow, Finest Sausage.” - Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983) - Film #173

One of the finest rural slasher films of the 1980s is Jim McCullough, Sr.'s Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983), the story of released mental patient Evelyn Chambers and her challenges operating the titular inn, not to mention the maze of tunnels situated underneath.

Some of your universe's critics are not as enamored of this film as they should be. For example, reviewer Nightman85 writes, "This movie lacks in every possible way. The story is a rather boring one, especially considering that there is no mystery or suspense to be had! The cast is utterly horrible, even to me who can sometimes tolerate a hammy performance. There isn't any style to the direction of this movie, no decent score, nothing in the way of talent at all!" Reviewer brunzer writes, "The story is sluggish and boring, the acting is hammy, and there isn't much killing and hardly any blood or gore." And reviewer jeppegrunberger writes hyperbolically, "it might very well be the worst of it's kind... it really might."

Let us take a trip to the wild mountains of Louisiana to see the true horror that is Mountaintop Motel Massacre...

Monday, February 10, 2020

“It Ain’t Halloween If You Can’t Scare a Few Kids Once in a While” - Jack-O (1995) - Film #172

Let’s turn to one of the finest of the many classic films set on Halloween. I am speaking, of course, about 1995’s Jack-O, a demonic revenge tale which features literally seconds of footage of the great John Carradine and Cameron Mitchell.

Reviewer nixshows writes, “ It's straight up bottom-of-the-barrel Z-grade. The acting is the worst ever on film.” Reviewer RikFlash writes, “ This movie is just plane lame...this is straight garbage.” And the esteemed reviewer metalrage666 writes, “ The whole movie is contrived, I've seen better and more believable effects in movies made in the 50's, the dialogue seems forced and the acting is non- existent.”

Read on for a more realistic assessment of Steve Latshaw’s Jack-O...

Monday, January 27, 2020

"I Never Saw Such a Fog or Chill as This" - Garden of the Dead (1972) - Film #171

If John Hayes had directed only Grave of the Vampire (1972) and End of the World (1977), he would be considered one of the world's finest auteurs. But he directed additional classics as well, including the early zombie film Garden of the Dead (1972), which we now consider, and which warns the world about the horrific side effects of sniffing formaldehyde.

One wonders what the reviewers of your universe are sniffing when they refuse to accept Garden of the Dead as a classic. Reviewer MetalGeek writes, "It isn't scary, isn't gory, and isn't even silly enough to be considered 'so bad it's good.'" Reviewer gattonero975 writes, "This 'Garden' should definable be left alone and left to dry and die!" Dry and die? How cruel! And reviewer pawned79 writes, "Nothing I can say can possible describe the horror that I felt when I watched this movie." (Perhaps a compliment, though this reviewer's score of 3 out of 10 for the film argues against such an interpretation.)

Read on for a true appreciation of the great John Hayes's atmospheric and innovative zombie film...

Monday, January 20, 2020

"No Good Comes Out of That Lake. Except the Fish I Catch" - Blood Sabbath (1972) - Film #170

One highly entertaining cinematic genre is the metaphysical allegory titled to suggest it is an intense horror film. Blood Sabbath is one of the strongest of this small but high-quality genre.

Reviewer coventry writes, "Not one sequence in the entire movie makes the slightest bit of sense and everything looks so poor it almost becomes pitiful." Reviewer DigitalRevenantX7 writes, "The special effects, when they do appear, are so poor that you end up groaning in disappointment." And reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "it proves to be rather incoherent, and very tedious."

These reviewers are clearly uninterested in subtlety and allegorical meaning. Read on for a more balanced look at 1972's Blood Sabbath...

Monday, January 13, 2020

"The Perfect Place for a Psychotic Investigation" - Nightwish (1988) - Film #169

One of the prime periods of creativity in American film was the middle to late eighties, when filmmakers mined the surrealism introduced in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) to great effect. A fine example of surrealism is Bruce R. Cook's Nightwish (1988), which we discuss today.

Some of your universe's critics are not kind to Nightwish. For example, reviewer mrcool1122, under the headline "Worst Movie Ever," writes, "you'll leave this movie feeling alone and taken advantage of, like a puppy who isn't wanted anymore and is left in a box by the side of the road. Blech." Reviewer paul_haakonsen writes, "I managed to endure an hour of the ordeal before I gave up. By then I had simply lost all interest in the movie and the pointless storyline and the random happenings of events that made little sense." And reviewer WisdomsHammer writes, "The overall story was what did me in. I wasn't invested in any of these characters and the ending was so predictable and lackluster that I groaned."

Read on for the truth about Nightwish...

Monday, January 6, 2020

“A Jesus Freak Now Believes in Spacemen” - Heatstroke (2008) - Film #168

How could a movie with alien dinosaurs, D. B. Sweeney, and Danica McKellar fail to be a classic? Of course, that is a rhetorical question, signaling the beginning of our discussion of 2008's Heatstroke, a classic monster movie set in a tropical paradise.

Some of your universe's critics fail to understand classics like Heatstroke. For example, reviewer rob_p writes, "The script was deplorable. Predictable and cliché ridden. The characters were flat and uninteresting. The CGI aliens are appallingly bad." Reviewer kiawa77 writes, "I just kept watching it in order to write a review on it, but I can't even write a decent review because it was really that bad. A terrible, illogical script with a set of wooden actors delivering their lines in a very flat way." And reviewer kiat-2 writes, "The director has cooked up a turkey - the very worst film I've seen for a long time."

Read on...

Monday, December 30, 2019

“It’s Just Not Cool When a Guy Just Honks His Horn” - The Zodiac Killer (1971) - Film #167

We have not yet explored one of the most famous and fascinatingly unique films of all time, pizza restauranteur Tom Hanson's The Zodiac Killer (1971) aka Zodiac, one of a handful of films made as a plot by a private citizen to provide the public service of catching a serial killer.

Reviewer preppy-3 writes, "It's all too obvious padding--and boring padding at that! There's also tons of misogynistic comments, terrible dialogue, low production values and unsure direction." Reviewer wilburscott writes, "Obviously made by people who were not too hip to film-making, the film is shoddy and poorly shot." And reviewer utgard14 writes, "It's got some grit, I'll give it that, but it's all just so cheap, slow, and dull that I couldn't enjoy it."

Read on to find out more about The Zodiac Killer...

Monday, December 23, 2019

“A Message Board for Weirdos” - Dial Code Santa Claus (1990) - Film #166

In the holiday season, the film lover's thoughts turn to holiday classics. Last year, Senseless Cinema looked at the British classic Don't Open Till Christmas (1984). This year, we consider Rene Manzon's Dial Code Santa Claus (1990).

In a turn of events that might be considered a holiday miracle, even your universe's critics love Dial Code Santa Claus. As I am unable to find any negative reviews of this classic, read on to see why the film is so beloved...

Monday, December 16, 2019

“If There’s a Heaven, She’s Got a Box Seat” - Doom Asylum (1988) - Film #165

One of the most difficult of genres is the horror comedy. Let us turn to one of the finest examples of this genre, a film which succeeds based on its calculated risk of making the horror only mildly horrific and the comedy even less amusing. The film is Doom Asylum (1988), an early film directed by Richard Friedman, veteran of TV shows such as Tales from the Darkside and Friday the 13th: The Series, not to mention feature films such as Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989).

Of course, some critics do not appreciate comedy or horror. For example, reviewer dood15 writes, " i think this is really the worst movie i've ever seen. no plot, horrible effects, just plain bad." Reviewer Mr Blue-4 writes, "There might be a worse movie out there than this one, but I wouldn't want to see it. This is bad enough. Completely unfunny, and needless to say unscary, horror spoof of slasher films." And reviewer paul_haakonsen writes, "This movie was a horror comedy of sorts, but it failed on both fronts. There was nothing funny about it, and I wasn't laughing even a single time. Nor were there any real horror to it, unless you count some questionable slasher feature as being proper horror."

Despite these reviews, please read on to find out the truth about the rediscovered gem Doom Asylum...

Monday, December 9, 2019

“Things Just Sort of Pop Into It” - Night Vision (1987) - Film #164

When last we visited the mean streets of Denver, it was to celebrate the late Michael Krueger's Mindkiller (1987). Let us not visit Mr. Krueger's ambitious follow-up, Night Vision, released the same year.

Reviewer kannibalcorpsegrinder writes, "Among the many problems with this one is that there's just not enough screen-time here to really get invested in the horror angle behind this one as far too much time is taken up with lame and non- frightening scenarios that just don't give off any true horror feel from any of the scenes." Reviewer yourmotheratemydog715 writes, "It's actually very slow-moving, nothing much really happens, it completely shies away from gore and nudity, and it's not really even a horror movie." And reviewer liefcs writes, "Poor acting, virtually non-existent script, and also makes the mistake of taking itself seriously."

Heaven forbid anything take itself seriously! Read on for the truth about Michael Krueger's Night Vision...