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...

Monday, April 8, 2019

“If Treasure Were Everywhere, They’d Call It Rubbish” - The Evil Below (1989)

We have discussed The Rift (1989), and we have discussed Barracuda (1978), so it is time to discuss a film that combines underwater intrigue with Mr. Wayne Crawford -- 1989's The Evil Below, a classic from the Golden Age of underwater monster movies (i.e., 1989).

Typically, many of your universe's critics are unappreciative of the charms of The Evil Below and/or Wayne Crawford (blasphemy!). For example, reviewer Aaron1375 writes, "This movie was a total yawnfest that took forever to get going, but never really did." Reviewer Tikkin writes, "I manged to sit through it all (just about) but I wouldn't recommend this film to ANYONE." And reviewer poolandrews calls the film "a bit different but unfortunately that's not enough to save it from sinking to the bottom of the sea like a stone."

Let us see if The Evil Below sinks or swims [Spoiler: It swims!]...

Monday, April 1, 2019

“Hit It With a Sledgehammer and It Won’t Perform” - The Cremators (1972)

Writer/director Harry Essex wrote two acknowledged classics of the underwater monster genre, The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and Octaman (1971). One year after Octaman, he would co-write and direct another classic, the less well-known The Cremators (1972), a film that deserves mention along with the other Harry Essex classics.

Not all your universe's critics agree, unfortunately...for them. Reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "Essex's direction is lifeless, Howard makes for a bland protagonist, and the film's visual effects are far from special." Reviewer azathothpwiggins writes, "Absurd and terminally dull, this movie is only for those few, brave souls able to withstand a severe brain hammering!" And reviewer leofwine_draca writes, "The special effects are awkward and unsatisfying, and not even cheesy enough to be amusing, while the constant focus on little rocks is laughable. Needless to say that the performances from the no-name cast members are wooden in the extreme."

Read on for a more balanced view of the tense and horrific The Cremators...