Monday, July 15, 2024

“So That Explains It Then” - Shadow Tracker: Vampire Hunter (1999)

This week, we will discuss the low-budget epic Shadow Tracker: Vampire Hunter (1999), an ambitious straight-to-video labor of love shot in upstate New York directed by Joe Bagnardi and written by Bagnardi and horror film expert Bruce G. Hallenbeck.

I found only a handful of reviews (if the hand in question has only two fingers) in your universe for this classic. Reviewer Leofwine_draca writes, "Certainly it's nothing that could be considered a good film." And reviewer Taliesin writes, "The film looks blooming awful, to be honest, and the acting isn’t really much better." 

Read on for the truth about Shadow Tracker: Vampire Hunter...

Monday, July 1, 2024

The Devil's Mistress (1965)

Let us now return to the 1960s to appreciate the forgotten supernatural Western The Devil's Mistress (1965), in which a band of cowboys encounter an unusual couple in the middle of the desert. Written and directed by the wonderfully named Orville Wanzer, whose only film credit this is, The Devil's Mistress is a bleak and creepy account of a really bad journey over the mountains.

As usual, some of your universe's critics are harsh when reviewing The Devil's Mistress. For example, CinemaSerf writes, "though only an hour or so long, it seems longer and really does quickly fall into the realms of films best avoided. This is poor, sorry." Reviewer I_Ailurophile writes, "The concept is solid enough; the cinematic expression of that concept basically amounts to the bare minimum, and it's hard to muster enthusiasm for what little plot we get." And reviewer jennycallahan writes, "the camera work is the worst. It feels like a random person off the street was hired for Cinematography."

Read on for the truth about The Devil's Mistress...

Monday, June 17, 2024

“Burying Cattails and Monkey Nuts” - Mirror of Death (1988)

Also known by the highly original title Dead of Night, Mirror of Death (1988) is a supernatural slasher film set in glamorous Los Angeles. Its plot is also highly original, as it revolves around a mirror that is either possessed or haunted by a spirit (or possibly a demon). In fact, the film is reminiscent of such high-quality cinema as Demon Seed/Demon Rage in its blending of supernatural evil and beautiful people.

Of course, some of your universe's critics dismiss Mirror of Death. For example, reviewer Leofwine_draca writes, "this is a very low quality piece of film-making that looks pretty grotty if I'm honest." Reviewer BA_Harrison calls the film "instantly forgettable straight-to-video nonsense of the lowest order, a lifeless low-budget clunker with very few redeeming qualities." And reviewer lor_ summarizes the film eloquently (but incorrectly): "Cliched dialog reduces supernatural goings-on to mere doggerel."

Read on for an accurate appreciation of Mirror of Death...

Monday, June 3, 2024

"Throw Out the Logic Pill When You Swallow It" - The Crawling Hand (1963)

As everybody knows, the 1960s were a fertile period full of creative science fiction, horror, and the melding of both. The Crawling Hand (1963) is an excellent example of both. It features not only murders by a crawling hand (actually a crawling arm), but attempted murders by a teenager possessed by said crawling hand/arm, and a performance by the always-welcome Alan Hale, Jr.

Of course, some of your universe's critics fail to appreciate The Crawling Hand. For example, reviewer lee_eisenberg writes about Alan Hale, "Before he got the role of a certain short-tempered sea captain with a dim-witted first mate, he was stuck in grade-Z movies. An example is the idiotic stinker 'The Crawling Hand'." Reviewer wierzbowskie writes, "Don't go near this at all!" And reviewer bkoganbing writes, "It's not even funny bad, just bad."

Read on for the truth about The Crawling Hand...

Monday, May 20, 2024

“What This Will Be, I Do Not Know, If Anything” - The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals (1969)

Now let us take up the lost classic The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals (1969), a bold new vision of the Universal "monster rally" films of the 1940s that even features a small role for John Carradine and has the bonus attraction of being set in and near Las Vegas.

Shockingly, some of your universe's critics are uninspired by the cinematic jewel that is The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackal. For example, reviewer InjunNose writes, ""The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals" easily outdistances any Ed Wood or Herschell Gordon Lewis film in the bad movie stakes." Reviewer BaronBl00d writes, "the direction, writing, lighting, acting, special effects, make-up, etc.... are without a doubt truly incompetent." And reviewer Michael_Elliott sums up the film as "cheap, low-budget junk."

Of course, you should not rely on the opinions of these so-called reviewers. Please read on for the truth about The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals...

Monday, May 6, 2024

"I'm Firmly Planted in Your Subconscious" - The Devil's Hand (1961)

Let us now return to the fabled 1960s to discuss the forgotten suspense masterpiece The Devil's Hand, a film that involves neither devils nor hands, but does feature Robert Alda, Neil Hamilton, and a bevy of large voodoo dolls.

A small number of your universe's critics are not persuaded by the quality of The Devil's Hand. For example, reviewer davidtraversa-1 writes, "I don't have the will power or the time to watch this kind of junk." Reviewer Hitchcoc describes the film as "Meandering and dumb." And reviewer Coventry laments "Too bad it eventually didn't turn out to be a very good movie."

Read on for the truth about The Devil's Hand...

Monday, April 22, 2024

"Three Words: C-I-A" - Murdercycle (1999)

Let us now turn to 1999's Murdercycle, a science fiction film in which an alien entity possesses and converts a motorcycle and its rider to terrorize a group of Marines and CIA agents in the Colorado (not California) desert.

Of course, some people in your universe don't appreciate action films of Murdercycle's quality. Reviewer parca writes simply, "Everything in this movie is bad." Reviewer bkoganbing writes, "Murdercycle is one truly lame science fiction film. It rates at the bottom of all categories, acting, writing, directing and laughable special effecs [sic]." And reviewer marko210 writes, "Words can not describe the strength it took to watch it all the way through."

Read on for an appreciation of Murdercycle...

Monday, April 8, 2024

"I Was in an Andy Warhol Movie the Other Week" - Hollywood Horror House (1970)

Let us now delve into a classic film depicting the descent into madness of an aging movie star from the golden age of cinema trapped in her decaying mansion. Of course, I'm referring to Donald Wolfe's Hollywood Horror House (1970), Miriam Hopkins's entry into the film cycle that is now called "Grand Dame Guignol" or, less charitably, "Hagsploitation." In fact, Hollywood Horror House does not skimp on the Grand Guignol or the "sploitation," making it an unusual, though underseen, entry into the subgenre.

Of course, some of your universe's critics undervalue this film. For example, reviewer mark.waltz writes, "this ranks as an embarrassing Z grade mix of grindhouse slasher horror and the desperation of a delusional diva to keep her name alive, no matter how repulsive the film she's in is."  Reviewer kira02bit writes, "Watch if you must, but there are much better options, even within this genre." And reviewer poolandrews, with some unexpected charity, writes, "It's a mildly entertaining one-time-watch at best & a complete mess of a film at worse, you decide which!"

Read on for a full appreciation of Hollywood Horror House...

Monday, March 25, 2024

“Just a Minor Sex Maniac” - Honeymoon of Horror (1964)

We will now return to the state of Florida to examine the relatively obscure thriller Honeymoon of Horror (1964), the only film directed by Irwin Meyer, producer of films such as Larry Cohen's Deadly Illusion (1987) and the TV movie Legion of Fire: Killer Ants! (1998).

Honeymoon of Horror is not well loved by your universe's prestigious critics. For example, reviewer rsoonsa writes, "The storyline is haphazard, the camera-work is erratic, with quaintly dreadful lighting, and the acting is substandard, often inadvertently comedic." Reviewer john22900 writes, "Almost everything about this production is pretty terrible." And reviewer mdstudio-75425 writes that "only a true aficionado will have the steely willpower of endurance required for full viewing."

Read on for a more realistic appreciation of the hidden gem Honeymoon of Horror...

Monday, March 11, 2024

“Rats Aren’t People!” - Brain Twisters (1991)

Jerry Sanguiliano's Brain Twisters (1991) is a science fiction thriller that imaginatively uses computers as tools to twist college students' brains so they commit murder and/or suicide. Unfortunately, it is the late Mr. Sanguiliano's only feature-length film, despite it being a brilliant work of early 1990s cinema.

Some of your universe's critics don't understand the intricacies of Brain Twisters. For example, reviewer movieman_kev writes, "This stinker not only scrapes the bottom of the proverbial barrel, but permanently resides there. It can't get much worse than this." Reviewer Red-Barracuda writes, "It's just very poorly put together generally." And reviewer Rainey-Dawn writes, " I was bored, bored and more bored with the film." (As if anything could be more exciting than Brain Twisters!)

Read on for a full appreciation of Brain Twisters...

Monday, February 26, 2024

"I Heard That There's a Problem on an Island" - Zombies: The Beginning (2007)

The late Bruno Mattei's final film, Zombies: The Beginning (2007), is a direct sequel to his previous film, Island of the Living Dead (also 2007). Both films show that Mr. Mattei never lost his touch at making creative horror films that cannibalized bits and pieces from earlier movies to develop entertaining, surprising stories. 

Of course, some of your universe's critics don't understand Mr. Mattei's films. About Zombies: The Beginning, reviewer slothworx writes, admittedly with great eloquence, "This is stupid. I'm a big fan of zombie flicks, but this one is awful and stupid." Reviewer matthewhemmings writes, "This one stunk like the cheese counter at your local supermarket, or that big bag of especially dank green you just picked up." And reviewer Uriah43 writes, "I will just say that this sequel was just as bad as the first film in that it still had a bad script, bad character development and bad acting along with bad costumes and sets."

Read on for a more down-to-earth appreciation of Bruno Mattei's Zombies: The Beginning...

Monday, February 12, 2024

"One Bite and He'll Leave You Flat-Chested" - Death Dimension (1971)

Let us turn our sights to perhaps the most action-packed film ever made, Al Adamson's Death Dimension (1971) starring the redoubtable Jim Kelly. Of course, when one thinks of action, one thinks of Al Adamson, a director with the uncanny ability to incorporate more chases per minute into a film than any other director.

Of course, some of your universe's critics fail to appreciate Death Dimension. For example, reviewer Wizard-8 writes, "This is an incredibly boring movie." Reviewer mhorg2018 writes, "Adamson can't direct, can't write, can't edit. Ed Wood was a better movie maker than this guy." And reviewer michaelRokeefe writes, "Poorly written and directed; you get the impression this flick was done on a budget that relied on a bounced check."

Read on for the truth about Death Dimension...

Monday, January 29, 2024

"They Took It Pretty Tough" - Delirium (1979)

Let us discuss an efficient thriller that took advantage of the slasher film's emerging popularity in 1979, Delirium. The first film directed by Peter Maris, who would go on to make films such as the post-apocalyptic Land of Doom (1986) and Alien Species (1996), Delirium combines a slasher film with a conspiracy thriller and a police action film to create a unique and thrilling experience set in the forests and streets of St. Louis.

Of course, some of your universe's critics are characteristically unkind to Delirium. Reviewer mhorg2018 writes somewhat cryptically about the film, "And Why doesn't IMDB have a ZERO rating? Everywhere someone can review should have that." Reviewer amandagellar-31077 writes, "Everything about it feels amateur which could be forgiven if the script were any better." And reviewer P3n-E-W1s3 writes, "be prepared to keep hitting the rewind button every time you wake up because this film has the power to induce sleep."

Of course, all these reviews are embarrassingly incorrect. Please read on for the truth about Delirium...

Monday, January 15, 2024

"Legends Are Full of Phantoms" - Island of the Living Dead (2007)

Before his death in 2007, director Bruno Mattei released two final zombie films: Island of the Living Dead (2007) and Zombies: The Beginning (also 2007). Island of the Dead, despite its crisp digital provenance, is an ambitious and creative grand tour through zombie mythology that highlights themes of colonialism and religious persecution while paying homage to the zombie films of the past.

Of course, some critics in your universe don't appreciate Mr. Mattei's magnum opus. For example, reviewer Uriah43 writes, "this was a typically bad low-budget film by Bruno Mattei which suffered from a bad script, bad character development and bad acting." Reviewer Platypuschow writes, "If I were to make a zombie movie the blue print I'd make is taking everything they've done here then do the literal opposite." 
And reviewer Michael_Elliott writes, "On a technical level pretty much everything here is bad."

Please continue reading for a fuller appreciation of Bruno Mattei's Island of the Living Dead...

Monday, January 1, 2024

"Don’t Mess Up My Slam-Dunk Murder with Psychology" - Dead Above Ground (2002)

Our movie today is Dead Above Ground (2002), one of two slasher films written and produced by prolific television writer, and Jim Rockford creator, Stephen J. Cannell. Presumably impressed by the resurgence of the slasher film in the late 1990s, Mr. Cannell put together a modestly budgeted film depicting teen camaraderie, occult rituals, axe murders, and the bohemian Hollywood lifestyle that emerges as an entertaining classic.

Some of your universe's critics, however, are unkind to Dead Above Ground. For example, reviewer bombsaway814 writes, with questionable capitalization, "actually the movie is quite painful to watch at first. i finished it floored and amazed at the stupidity of it all." Reviewer dereth writes, "Positively one of the worst horror movies ever. Bad script, acting, music... you name it, they've got it." And reviewer Horrorible_Horror_Films writes, "Its really really stupid. Embarrassingly stupid movie."

Read on for the truth about Dead Above Ground...