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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Don't go in the house ( 1980 ).

I saw this recently, and have to say it wasn't anything like I imagined it to be. It is an amazing film, but I find it impossible to see why it was a video nasty in the UK at all. Maybe that's just me. Who knows?

Donald (Donny) is a deeply disturbed man who was abused by his mother as a child. Whenever Donny did something his mother saw as wicked, she would hold his hands over the flames of a gas stove in an attempt to burn the evil out of him.

A few years later, and Donny is working at an incinerator plant where there is an accident and one of his colleagues catches fire. Instead of rushing to help him, Donny watches with childlike curiosity. After work, Donny returns home only to find his mother has died, and so begins the collapse of Donny's world.

He is now free from his mother and decides to avenge himself from his mothers hatred by killing every woman who bears a resemblance to his hateful mother. He covers a bedroom with steel panels, goes and purchases some chains and a flamethrower and begins his quest for revenge.

From reading about this movie, I thought it was going to be wall to wall barbeque, but in fact, the story is incredibly well developed and intelligent and shows a very realistic portrayal of a man falling into insanity.

That isn't to say the movie skimps on the brutality. It definitely doesn't, but it is more about the descent into madness than the body count. The way Donny's dead mother communicates with him from beyond the grave is very reminiscent of Psycho, and the ending is incredibly similar to another movie from the same year which I'm in no way going to mention as it would pretty much give the ending away.

Another film I highly recommend. Just don't go in expecting a gore fest, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

You can buy Don't go in the house from Amazon by clicking here.

Darkest regards......Dani.

The Mutilator ( 1985 ).

What a Tag line. What a movie. This little seen slasher from the 80's is amazing. The murders are brutal, the film incredibly dark (in tone and lighting) and it is really well done.

I first picked up the mutilator many years ago in a local second hand DVD store and it was the Vipco edition. A Poor quality picture that looked like it was ripped straight from the VHS. Nevertheless, I instantly fell in love with this movie.

The opening sets the dark oppressive mood perfectly. A little boy decides to polish his fathers rifle collection as a surprise for his birthday, he leaves a note by the rifle cabinet which reads "Happy birthday daddy. All cleaned by me"!! As the little boy begins cleaning the rifle while his mother is in the kitchen making her husband a birthday cake, the little boy playfully aims the gun and pulls the trigger, not knowing the rifle was loaded. It discharges, the bullet firing through the wall into the mothers stomach, killing her instantly. Then Daddy walks in finding his wife's corpse, and his son standing over her with the rifle in his hands. The father grabs the boy and beats him, then grabs the gun and the little boy runs away. The father then drags his wife into the lounge and shares a birthday drink with her corpse while the little boy watches from the hallway.

Fast forward a few years, and the little boy has grown into a respectable adult who receives a call from his father asking him to go and lock up his condo for the winter. Seeing this as a great way to have some fun and visit the beach, his friends suggests they all go together, so they do.

That's when the mayhem begins. A girl is impaled in the groin with a fishing gaff, an axe is used to great effect. The FX in this movie were handled by Mark Shostrom (A nightmare on elm street part 2: Freddy's Revenge), and it shows. The kills are incredibly sadistic, brutal and even managed to turn my stomach now and again.

All in all, this is a forgotten gem. One that all horror movie fans should see, as it is probably one of the nastiest slasher movies out there and manages to deliver everything a great slasher film should.

You can buy The mutilator from Amazon by clicking here.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Day of the dead ( 1985 ).

In my opinion, Day of the dead is THE greatest zombie movie ever made. Dawn of the dead pales in comparison. Day (as I shall now refer to the movie) in my opinion is one great big bloodbath of a movie with the most despicable character ever seen in a Zombie movie (Captain Rhodes), and any film that starts off with the image below is definitely going to be awesome.

Day tells the story of a team of scientists and soldiers who are taking refuge in an underground bunker surrounded by a fence to keep the armies of the undead out. As in all Romero Zombie movies, the zombies take second place to the battles between the humans and the will to survive against insurmountable odds.

The carnage in this movie is unbelievable and the FX are top notch. Some of Savini's best work. Just check out the zombie that rises from the operating table, only for it's insides to fall out onto the floor! I still have no idea how it was done, but it is amazing.

The characters in this movie are portrayed really well, especially the evil Captain Rhodes and Bub, a zombie who shows signs of intelligence.

This film really does have everything a zombie movie needs, plus so much more. Unlike Dawn of the dead there is very little light relief in this movie. It just keeps getting more and more oppressive, dragging you into the scenarios and making you feel like the characters have no escape. This is definitely a movie everyone should see before they die. Horror fan or not.

You can purchase Day of the dead from Amazon by clicking here.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Laid to rest.

This movie in my opinion, is one of the greatest slashers to be released after the slasher boom of the late seventies/early eighties.

The fact it was released in 2009 shows how long the slasher movie has been floating around without new blood being pumped into it's lifeless corpse, with only the Scream series, and Adam Green's Hatchet being contenders for bringing the sub genre back to life.

It follows the basic template as every slasher movie that has come before, but executes everything with much more ferocity that you really can't take your eyes off the screen for a second.

The film is also helped along by a menacing killer known only as Chrome skull, who is silent throughout the movie, as all the great movie serial killers are.

The special FX in this movie are absolutely sickening. The murders are brutal beyond belief. It is very strange for any movie to turn my stomach, and to this date only two movies have managed it. Laid to Rest is one of those movies (the other, if you are interested is August underground: Mordum).

All of the FX are practical, but some are touched up with CGI, not that it is noticeable, and I only found out because I'm such a geek I have to watch every single special feature on the DVD.

The basic plot of the movie, and it is basic, is a woman wakes up and finds she is in a coffin. She manages to escape from her prison, only to be hunted by Chrome skull, who hunts her down and kills anyone who stands in his way.

If you are looking for a recent slasher movie that takes itself a little more seriously than Hatchet or Scream, then Laid to Rest is the place to look. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

You can purchase Laid to Rest from Amazon by clicking here.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Night of the demons ( 1988 ) .

A fun, incredibly cheesy late 80's movie. Night of the Demons is campy, gory and incredibly fun and contains the greatest scene to feature a topless woman and a lipstick in all of horror cinema.

The tagline for the film was more than enough to sell it to me.

Angela is having a party. Freddy and Jason are too scared to come...... but you'll have a hell of a time.

The film begins with a grumpy old man putting razorblades in apples. Then comes an amazing animated intro. It's like entering your favorite ghost train/fun house, with the camera closing in on Hull house, while synth music plays and ghosts fly from the house. You just can't beat this film for the typically 80's feel.

We are then introduced to a group of friends who are on their way to a party in Hull house. When all the friends meet, they decide to have a seance (something which is never a good idea in a horror movie).

After the seance the kids find themselves trapped and one by one they are taken over by demons, and all hell breaks loose.

Photo de Demon House

As I've said before, this film is a lot of fun, the shots of Angela floating while pursuing her victims are amazing and so well done, and the ending contains some amazing special FX.

My only gripe with Night of the demons is it's rather slow to get going. But it does succeed in creating suspense even if it does dissipate somewhat towards the middle of the film, as it seems to wander ever so slightly.

Even so, I still recommend this movie wholeheartedly and even though in my opinion, the sequel is a million times better in every respect, Night of the Demons is a fun horror romp and is definitely worth a watch on Halloween night, or any other night that takes your fancy.

You can purchase Night of the Demons from Amazon by clicking here.

Darkest regards.......Dani.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Phantasm ( 1979 ) .


If ever there was a movie beyond any genre, then Phantasm is definitely that movie. Part Sci-Fi, part horror movie, all messed up weirdness, it is certainly one of the strangest movies I have ever seen.

The film tells the story of a young boy called Mike, who witnesses a man carrying a coffin all by himself. Mike then begins to investigate further, finding out some terrible secrets along the way.

First off, this movie plays on your mind for days. It throws up so many questions but it never fails to entertain on every level. It has killer silver spheres, dimensional warp gates, killer dwarves who resemble Jawa's from Star wars, and much more.

The first thing that got me in this film was the music. Absolutely amazing. The photography is beautiful, the acting the right side of camp, and the villain of the piece is played by an incredibly capable Angus Scrimm.

Admittedly, blood and gore don't feature very high on the agenda in this movie, as it's all about tone and atmosphere and in my opinion, Phantasm hits every nail on the head.

I really can't say much more because revealing the plot or happenings in the movie would ruin it for any of you who haven't yet seen it (and if you haven't, what the hell)???

You can purchase Phantasm from Amazon by clicking here .

Darkest regards.....Dani.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Halloween movies.

I thought today I would go through the Halloween movies much in the same way I did with the Friday the thirteenth movies, giving you a basic rundown of the plot and my thoughts on each of the movies.

John Carpenter's Halloween (1978).

If you have read my previous posts, you know my thoughts on this movie. If not then let me tell you that in my opinion, the original Halloween is the scariest movie ever made and even to this day, after thousands more horror movies, I have yet to find one as disturbing and downright scary as this. A young boy murders his sister on Halloween night, only to escape from incarceration sixteen years later and return to the town where the original murder took place, bringing with him his psychologist and a trail of death. Watch this movie!!!

Body count:- 5.

Halloween II (1982).

This movie follows on directly from the original, but ditches the suspense and in it's place are some relatively brutal kills. Admittedly its not half as scary as its predecessor, but is still a good ride although the ending never sat well with me. The hospital setting is well realized and the murders more plentiful than the original movie. Again I recommend this movie, just don't go in expecting the same kind of movie as the original.

Body count:- 10.

Halloween III : - The Season of the Witch.

This movie is amazing. Under any other title I'm sure many more people would feel the same, but because it doesn't feature Michael Myers, people wrote the film off. This time, a mask maker creates masks that kill under the banner of The Silver Shamrock Company. The film is dark, creepy and also has a trailer for the original Halloween hidden in there. Again, I recommend this movie wholeheartedly, and it was refreshing that the filmmakers tried something new with the Halloween franchise. Don't let the fact that Michael Myers isn't the killer make you miss out on this great movie.

Body count:- 13.

Halloween IV : - The Return of Michael Myers.

As the title suggests, Michael is back in this movie which does manage to bring the suspense back, as well as some gory kills. This time, Michael is trying to kill his niece played ably by Danielle Harris. The only fault I have to pick with this movie is the mask. It truly looks nothing like it originally did, and lacks any sort of detail. So in my opinion it takes away some of the fear of Michael Myers.

Body count:- 18.

Halloween V : - The Revenge of Michael Myers.

This is where the story begins getting silly, with the introduction of a man in black and Michael having a Thorn rune on his hand. Nevertheless, the kills are still there, as is Danielle Harris, who returns as Michael's Niece. Another point I'm going to pick on is that throughout this film, Michael shows a human side. I feel the director tried to humanize Michael too much and it really didn't fit well into the movie, but I guess this late into the series anything is worth a try.

Body count:- 20.

Halloween VI : - The Curse of Michael Myers.

Oh dear. I have no idea what happened with this mess of a movie. It feels disjointed, and the only thing that saves this movie from being terrible is Donald Pleasence in his final movie performance. Even the ending is a let down. If you are a completest, then by all means give it a go just to say you've seen it. Otherwise, give it a miss.

Body count:- 17.

Halloween H20.

This is an incredible return to form and is helmed by the director of Friday the 13th parts 2 and 3. Laurie Strode returns and this movie is a continuation from Halloween II, completely discounting the three earlier sequels. The murders, the suspense, Michael being scary again (even though the mask differs, sometimes greatly from scene to scene ). This film was definitely a winner in my books.

Body count:- 9.

Halloween Ressurrection.

No. No No No. This movie is beyond bad. Set in the old Myers house, a gameshow is set up where people must spend the night in the house to come out with a cash prize the following day. The only problem is, Michael has come back home. I was so disappointed with this entry. Some scenes have been rehashed from previous movies. It is over reliant on P.O.V footage, and it has a Kung Fu loving Busta Rhymes hamming it up .Again, another one to avoid.

Body count:- 10.

Rob Zombies Halloween.

I know many people are hate this movie, but I myself love it. It adds so much more to the character of Michael Myers and makes the whole story so much more real. This is an incredibly brutal film, and one that I wasn't sure if I was going to like. But after viewing on numerous occasions , Rob Zombie definitely came through with this one. The fist half of the movie deals with Michael's younger years, while the second half is a retelling of the original movie. Truly amazing.

Body count:- 22.

Rob Zombies Halloween II.

Wow. Another direct continuation of the first movie, only this time it is done right! Michael has never been more aggressive and this films brutality surpasses all the movies that came before it. The fact that Michael is unmasked quite a bit throughout the movie makes it all the more chilling, and in my opinion this is the best Halloween sequel ever made.

Body count:- 19.

Darkest regards........Dani.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Lucio Fulci's The Beyond.

What we have here, in my opinion is one of the godfather of gore's greatest movies. To this day I still can't believe the impact this film had on me. The dream like atmosphere, the lack of violence, the sheer amount of eyeball damage just shocked me to the core.

The film begins with a  sepia tone, and shows a boat carrying what looks like an angry mob to a hotel. They enter the hotel, go up to a room and proceed to assault an artist who is painting a picture of a vast hellish space. He is hit numerous times with an iron chain (surely a nod to one of Fulci's previous movies, Don't torture a duckling), and is then carried downstairs to the underground part of the hotel, where the artist is crucified and has a substance thrown on his face which causes his flesh to melt from his skull.

All of this horror is accompanied by Fabio Frizzi's amazingly chilling score, which in my opinion surpasses anything Frizzi has done before.

After this heart stopping intro to the movie, we are introduced to Catriona Maccoll's character, who is lucky enough to inherit the hotel where this crucifixion happened. Strange things then begin happening, which includes the opening of one of the seven gates of hell.

To say that this movie doesn't make sense is a moot point, as its meant to play out like a Lovecraftian nightmare and in my opinion, Fulci succeeded in every way. The whole movie has a completely otherworldly feel to it and although the film doesn't contain much violence, that isn't to say it skimps on the blood. Infact to this day, The Beyond is still one of the bloodiest films I have ever seen, with one scene in particular sticking in my mind.

Did I mention this film also has zombies?? Although it seems their intention in this movie isn't to feast on the main characters flesh, but to chase them both into hell.

All in all in my opinion, I still feel this is Fulci's greatest work of horror, and to anyone who hasn't seen this, I definitely rate it as one of the greatest horror movies ever made.

You can purchase The Beyond on Region 2 Blu Ray from Amazon by clicking here.

You can purchase The Beyond on Region 2 DVD from Amazon by clicking here. 

Darkest regards............Dani.