HORROR FEST: 50 Ways to Survive a Horror Film

To celebrate my horror fest, here are 50 fun neat little tricks you should use if you ever wake up in a horror film!

1) Always be nice to the shy, unpopular girl at school

She’ll probably take revenge on all of her bullies until they face a lovely gory death. She may have supernatural powers. She may be tired of being bullied and starts taking revenge on her bullies with the aid of her trusty butchers knife.

2) If you’re gonna get killed…

If you’re gonna get killed and you know that there’s no way out, ensure that you’re in a low-budget, cheapo gore-fest, because that way you’ll come back in the sequel!

3) Zombie target

When battling zombies in a zombie apocalypse, ensure that you always hit the zombie in the head/brain area. That way, you know that the undead are…dead.

4) Be utterly boring

No drugs. No sex. No alcohol. No parties. Whatever you do, DON’T be the popular kid at school.

5) Don’t have a six-pack

You’re the really fit jock at school which everyone drools all over because of how incredibly hench he is. Look at those pecs! Those biceps! That six-pack…oh, look, he’s been stabbed repeatedly to death by a serial killer and his body has now been completely dismembered.

Ensure that you’re the skinny weakling with glasses.

Don't be this hot guy, no matter how much you want to be him.
Don’t be this hot guy, no matter how much you want to be him.

6) Don’t have blonde hair and big tits

Similar to the one above. You’re probably going out with him. The borderline perverted psycho will kill you. Kill you.

It also helps if you’re not a cheerleader.

Whatever you do, don't be a hot, blonde, big-chested cheerleader
Whatever you do, don’t be a hot, blonde, big-chested cheerleader

7) Never watch a horror movie in a horror movie

Basic error. If you do this, you will die.

8) Never run to the top floor

Your only way out will be to jump out of the building, and you’ll have two options of death:

1 – Suicide

2 – Get stabbed by the serial killer/ripped apart by zombies/or just generally murdered in any perverted, disgusting, inhuman way

9) Always check the back seat of the car

There’ll probably be something lurking in the back which will lead to your fate.

Watch the original (John Carpenter) Halloween for further details.

10) Check your car

Even before entering the spooky town or whatever place your friends and potentially you could be murdered in, it is advisable to check that your car batteries and engine are working and are in top quality condition. After all, it would be at some inconvenience when trying to escape the spooky town and your car won’t start.

11) Observe lights

If they flash on and off, you’re fucked.

12) Don’t go near wardrobes

Two things will either happen.

1 – Murderous thing that will murder you (zombie, killer…etc…) will come out of it and make you experience a fat worse than a fate worse than death.

2 – Nothings in the wardrobe! Phew!….what’s this? there’s a stab wound in my chest…oh no!

Avoid at all cost. It is not a gateway to Narnia.
Avoid at all cost. It is not a gateway to Narnia.

13) The unlucky number

Don’t go out – let alone go to a summer camp – on Friday 13th.

14) Avoid deserted towns

It’s deserted for a reason…

15) Never go into an old motel

Norman Bates will murder you when you shower!

It's no Premier Inn...
It’s no Premier Inn…

16) Don’t have a penis

The last survivor of most horror movies is almost always a woman. Just watch the classics: Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead…etc…

Your penis is your enemy.

Be a girl instead...
Be a girl instead…

17) Stay away from paintball guns

It’s a crap weapon and most likely will get you killed.

18) Some nights are best left…

Don’t go out on Friday 13th, Halloween or prom night. In fact, don’t even stay in your house. Go to a hotel…actually, don’t go to a hotel (number 15 advises otherwise)…just…oh I don’t know…

19) Listen to the insane old woman

If she tells you that trouble is coming and evil is around, she’s correct and don’t you dare ignore her!

20) Never pick up a hitchhiker

He/she will either:

a) Murder you

b) Be murdered with you

21) When driving…

When driving don’t take the back roads/short cuts/roads in the country…go on the busy roads instead. The motorway is most advisable (unless if you’re in a Final Destination film and you see a huge vehicle carrying trees…obviously).

22) Rollercoasters…

Steer clear from these. And all fair grounds, theme parks and anything deemed as being ‘fun’. Also, clowns will kill you, stay away from them.

23) Baby zombies

Aren’t they adorable? Nawww…look at them, with their tiny hands and feet and….cuttteee!

NO! Murder them. Treat them like any other zombie.

Kill the murderous rascal at all cost
Kill the murderous rascal at all cost

24) Steer clear from bars, pubs

Any area where alcohol can be consumed you must steer clear from. You don’t want to be drunk. Plus, if there are zombies outside, pubs are most definitely a no-go-zone.

25) His best friend was his mother…

Avoid anyone who was a loner and who looks after his mother who is aged around 25-50.

26) Top secret…

If by some curious chance, a top secret, obscure military tanker filled with plutonium or any dangerous chemical is left on your doorstep. Return it.

27) If you become a zombie…

Just eat all the human flesh you can, and learn to love it. Especially intestines and brains – I hear they’re kinda tasty.

28) Email me

If you see Brad Pitt dressed as a vampire, please email me asap.

29) Seems obvious

Having a vampire as a dinner guest is never a good idea. Seems obvious, but no matter how charming he is, don’t let him in.

30) If the power goes off

If the power goes off, don’t try to fix it by going to the generator or control box. You may get back-stabbed, quite literally.

31) Avoid friends

If your friends leave you for more than 10 minutes, don’t try to look for them, for you will end up like them…

32) A bad boyfriend…

A guy that locks himself in a cage at night isn’t a good boyfriend. Yeah he may be kinda cute and have nice pecs n abs, not to mention the fact that he’s incredibly romantic, but for godsake, ditch him! He’s a werewolf!

33) Full moon

Don’t go out on a full moon…

34) Edward vs Jacob

Don’t get involved in century old grudges between vampires and werewolves. Just don’t.

Let alone form a stupid love-triangle in a Twilight film.

35) Don’t check if he/she’s dead

After killing monster/zombie/serial killer don’t check if they’re dead, because…they’re probably not.

36) Kill ’em properly!

To ensure that you don’t have to carry out nom.35, kill your monster/zombie/killer properly. Shoot them in the face a few times, rip of their arm, bash them repeatedly around the face with a sledge-hammer. Be inventive. Just ensure that you’ve killed them…just don’t actually check if they’re dead though.

37) AVOID ALL BATHROOMS!

Perhaps the most important rule to obey when in a horror film, ever. Bathrooms = danger. Most classic horror film sequences occur in  bathrooms. The most famous being Psycho and The Shining.

38) Don’t hide in wardrobe

Just don’t.

39) Avoid the following places:

Attics, basements, cemeteries, barns, garages. You will be eaten and/or stabbed.

40) Screaming  blonde girls

If by chance you are stuck with the stock character of the terrified sexy blonde girl. If she screams, kill her immediately, she is a distraction and could get you killed. And when you’ve killed her, don’t feel guilty, she would have died anyway.

See nom.6 for further details.

41) Hearing strange sounds?

If you hear a strange/weird sound. It’s not just wind or “the cat”.

42) Also avoid:

– Swimming pools

– Beaches

Anywhere with water basically. To further add to that, don’t go skinny dipping, and don’t take any of your clothes off to show your girlfriend how incredibly hench you are…because you’ll then be showing her how incredibly dead you are.

43) Don’t split up

If you’re in a group, don’t split up into groups, you’re just making it easier for all of you to die.

44) Avoid latin texts…

Books in ancient latin texts, or scrolls in ancient text should never be read aloud. Not even for a joke.

45) Other forms of literature to avoid

If you find a book bound with human flesh, and has words written in blood, drop it immediately and whatever you do, don’t read it.

46) Warning signs

If lights switch on and off, microwaves, fridges, blenders, coffee machines, or any electrical appliance switch on and off or are becoming temperamental, it’s happening for a reason. Escape the town you’re in immediately, or die.

47) Dogs

If your dog starts to bark angrily at a friend/family member, avoid that person.

48) People with robes, hoods, or dressed all in black aren’t trying to look hip or fashionable

Avoid them.

49) Steer clear of child’s toys

Especially dolls and musical boxes.

50) Head-twisting and projectile-vomitting

If your friend/family member is doing the above, for godsake…RUN!

Horror Fest: Day 6

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104409/

Plot:

Pinhead, master and leader of cenobites lives inside a sculpture. JP Monroe buys this sculpture, brings a girl back home, and then the sculpture comes alive, sucking his one-night-stand into itself to bring back Pinhead, so that hell can be unleashed on earth.

Review:

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

What a brilliant piece of self-aware nonsense. I never really found Hellraiser or Hellraiser II: Hellbound particularly scary, but what I can at least say is that they did – just about – take themselves seriously. This one doesn’t, which is what makes it brilliant considering the fact that Hellraiser is essentially one of the greatest anti-one-night-stand franchises ever made…and that’s not really a compliment.

Everything in the third installment of the chain-imagery obsessed franchise is so over the top and just plain bonkers. There’s a section towards the end of the film where  where our main heroine, a journalist, is in a church and she sobs to the priest about demons to which he then says “demons, they don’t exist! They’re just metaphors!” – and then the great metal gates of the church slam open, bright blue light and smoke pour through to reveal Pinhead, and then our heroine points and says “then what the fuck is that?!” The actor who plays Pinhead plays it like a manipulative Shakespearean villain: deep-voiced, calm, calculating, suave and oh so grand – he’s like a creepy uncle with a toolkit fetish. He has brilliant lines concerning death where he says things like: “well let’s just turn up the volume”. That’s not forgetting the sequence where he walks through the church and every time he takes a step the stain-glass windows around him explode for no apparent reason.

The final act of this film is one of the most fun and entertaining pieces of horror I think I’ve ever seen: cars set on fire, CDs are thrown at people (which then result in killing them), electrical wires come alive and start attacking people, there are random explosions, and the new army of cenobites now just look plain stupid and one of them breathes fire. I don’t think I’ve particularly described the plot well in this movie, but I don’t think doing that would serve it justice. The film knows it lacks plot and that it consists of lots of campily gruesome set-pieces, and its self-awareness makes it even better.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Horror Fest: DAY 5

After the first five minutes of watching Mist, I was happy to see that the character, Gwen from Merlin was in it, and rising TV-actor, Andrew Lee-Potts starred as well.

Red Mist (aka ‘Freakdog’) (2008):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1185264/

Plot:

Hospital staff abuse a man with a stutter. They make him consume lots of alcohol, he has an epileptic fit and goes into a coma. He is then injected with a miracle drug and his soul goes into other people’s bodies so he can take his revenge…

Review:

Red Mist (2008)

Red Mist (2008)

Red Mist is essentially a conventional slasher film wearing the disguise of a possession-horror. It’s all rather silly and has lines where Merlin-girl says jokingly says “I’ll be next”, and hoh-hum she is. Perhaps I’ve just been desensitised because I watch too many horror films, but this bordering on the inventive horror isn’t particularly scary or tense, in fact I laughed at certain sections at its rubbishness. It is essentially an exploration of mal-practice and how one bad decision leads to serious consequences. I picture the writers chuckling away and guffawing constantly because they think that somehow this is deep.

The plot starts off with a party, where hospital staff are drinking and consuming drugs which they’ve stolen from the Hospital. Unfortunately for them, Kenneth, records one of them stealing the drugs. So, they make him consume all of the alcohol filled with the drugs in order to somehow make him forget. He has an epileptic fit. They dump him on the side of the road. He is then in a coma. These are doctors and nurses you do not want to be treated by.

A wonder drug has been discovered, but is currently in the development process – it is said that this drug may help coma patients. Our main heroine then feels guilty, and uses mal-practice to save him by forging signatures to get access to the drug. However, the drug then ups his brainwaves, and allows his soul to enter other people’s bodies, who now act out as mere vessels for his scheme of death and destruction. Using these carriers, he kills off the doctors and nurses who abused him in the beginning one by one.

Inventive yes, but original it is not. As I have said before, horror films should pray on basic fear, and this film doesn’t. Also, for a slasher film to work, you must at least care about some of the characters who are slaughtered by the killers. This is hardly the case here. Perhaps, I just never took it seriously from the beginning because I’m progressively getting more desensitised, but I just felt that it was rather silly.

I just want to see something 5 stars…now…please.

Verdict: 2/5

Horror Fest: DAY 4

DAY 4:

Only managed to squeeze in one film today…ahhh, but it was worth it!

The Beyond (1981):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082307/

Plot:

A woman inherits an old house, only to discover that it sits on top one of the gates of hell. iself. Slowly but surely, hell’s influence seeps through the gate and permeates itself into unlocking the gate further until finally, the dead begin to walk…

Review:

The Beyond (1981)

The Beyond (1981)

The opening shots showed me that I was in the capable hands of a horror-maestro (Lucio Fulci). Monochrome images, where the camera pans past a shadowy lake of people rowing towards an ominous motel. We then cut inside the motel itself. There is a painter who has managed to discover all 7 of the gates of hell. One of the men pushes him down and whips him: we see the skin pulled off, the tissue and the bone…and yes, the blood. He is then pushed against a wall, and has both arms attached to it via nails themselves. It is certain that Fulci knows how to direct violence, because when you see that nail go in, I certainly flinched with unease. But this isn’t gore for gore’s sake. This isn’t, like the previous films. This section explores and hits one of my innermost fears: the fear of pain itself. The Final was not disturbing because it didn’t exploit this, it instead focused on the body like mere mechanical parts which can be cut off, taken off or sawed into.

Later on, when a character discovers where the gates of hell are, lightning strikes, he falls off of his ladder. The devil is at work. Then suddenly, around five or six tarantulas appear out of nowhere, close-up shots exploit there presence. They crawl towards him slowly, and they move across his body towards his face with utmost care. The scene seems to last minutes, and it is utterly uncomfortable. Not because of the spiders. But because Fulci exploits the spiders to hit our fear of being trapped. The scene certainly pulls off a sense of utter chlaostrophobia.

Unfortunately the film falls flat on itself in the final third. The build up of the film is the best. The gates of hell are opened and the zombies are unleashed. Ironically act three (or as horror aficionados will call “The Final Bloodbath”) wasn’t particularly effective. Also, another fault with the film is that soundtrack. Which sounds like it comes out of a crappy 80s crime film or a crappy 80s porn film. Or a porn film about a detective trying to catch a criminal, I dunno.

Utterly uncomfortable watch, but flawed.

Verdict: 3/5

Horror Fest: DAY 3

When writing about this challenge, the concept was to discuss each film in a minimalistic almost diary-entry kind of way. I think I failed with Bloodlust, because I just had to take out my sheer anger out on that film. Either way, I think Bloodbath at the House of Death saved my sanity after such dreariness. Today involved two polar opposites: I saw the best and the worst film of this challenge.

Bloodlust (1961):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054691/

Bloodlust (1961)

Bloodlust (1961)

Plot:

Four unsuspecting people spot an island and decide to go to it, but later regret it when they realise that they are being hunted down.

Review:

I don’t think words can quite express how I feel about this film. Let’s just say there are moments in this film which are just about bearable, one moment is good, and the rest is just staggeringly terrible. It’s like staring into an abyss of awfulness, where all of the walls are made of vomit and clunge, and every so often you see a dead leprechaun ride a unicorn – some bits of hope, but not a very high amount of it. I think there’s something very bitter about this idea, something being terrible but having potential to be good. The one thing you can praise Manos: The Hands of Fate for is the fact that it as least its dreadfulness is consistent. Here, not so…and that paradoxically makes me almost prefer Manos.

Almost.

Rambling aside, the quality of the image is like staring into the backside of a haemorrhoid-suffering, McDonald-loving truck driver – and not because it’s pixelated. I can forgive that. Amateur filmmakers then and now have to use the cheapest cameras, camera with low quality that they will inevitably record overly-pixeled images. The problem with the image here is the outlines of the characters. It’s as if some twit picked up a sharpie and drew around the characters constantly to somehow make their shapes more define…in every single frame. I imagine there was such a twit who did this, there always is.

Anyway, our characters see an island at the beginning of this movie, and decide to go to it. They get to the island. They walk across the beach. One of the characters falls into a hole. His friends then attempt to take him out of the hole. They are then spotted by a man wearing a suit, who has a sinister goatee. He is our villain, and he plays this mad character with such enthusiastic woodenness, it’s delightfully charming in a very bizarre sort of way. This character is the dead leprechaun riding the unicorn in the abyss of infected bodily fluids. Every time he appeared on the screen, my heart slightly rose, just slightly, nothing more, nothing less. Just a slight movement. Slight, you got it?

He then offers them a place to stay and then as the film unfolds we discover that he’s a complete maniac who kills people, and puts the dead victims on display in his murder-victim trophy cave. It is essentially a display cabinet for necromantics. Anyway, when we see this cave with his trophy dead people, a glimmer of hope appears, something slightly good. A man with a cave full of dead people, who also has a chair in this room with switches to control the display lights for each unfortunate victim. This is such a wonderfully gothic idea. But then of course the film decides to urinate all of this by making everything that surrounds it so impossibly dull that the thought of being clubbed to death by Mitt Romney seems invariably exciting…and not because it’s Mitt Romney who’s doing the dirty-work. This is a film where I begged for the movie to end.

Then there are the characters. I’m sorry, I know that horror characters have pitiably low IQs, but this just takes the biscuit. If you discover that you’re on an island with a nutter who will kill you and then put you in a display cabinet in his trophy cave, surely you would develop some sense of urgency? The characters manage to find a wardrobe filled with guns. But they’re so idiotic, they don’t even check if they’ve got ammunition, let alone take ammunition with them. As far as I’m concerned now, they deserve to die. Idiots.

The film then gets progressively duller. Evil-goatee man offers them a challenge. He allows his captees to run off into the forest with a head-start before he sets off about to kill them one by one with a crossbow. I don’t quite know what vulgar powers the filmmakers have to somehow make this final section dull, but like the rest of the film, it is so monotonous it’s like staring into a black hole of doom. It’s like they’re sucking the life out of a potentially edge-of-your-seat concept.

Oh I can’t be bothered anymore. This is just dreadful.

Verdict: 0.5/5

Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086981/?ref_=sr_1

N.B. I needed this to recover from the awfulness of Bloodlust. Thank God for me having bothered to record this on Horror Channel.

Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

Plot:

Many years ago, a group of people were murdered by a satanic cult in the ironically named ‘Headstone Manner’. Years later, radiation is detected near the sight, and a group of scientists go to investigate. However, the satanic cult has continued down the generations as many people in the village are part of this cult…

Review:

Ingenious black comedy written by comic-genius, Kenny Everett. This film works because of the constant jokes it makes, it’s like a conveyor belt of surreal black comedy. It also works because the jokes are clever, inventive, and so ludicrous – yet completely played with a straight face – that it’s impossible, at the least, to not pull a cheeky grin whilst watching. Perhaps the most ridiculous section in it is where an extremist christian’s head is quite literally opened like a can of soup with can-opener

Death by can-opener

Death by can-opener

…or maybe the section where an invisible spirit has sex with a girl until she climaxes, the spirit then smokes a cigar and then leaves through the window, leaving our blonde heroine to say the great one line: “I get it, I’m just another one night stand”.  I think the funniest death goes to a group of people in a bed who were killed with a single spear going through them – the joke being: HAHAHAHAHAHA, IT’S A HUMAN KEBAB. Oh the amount of moments in this movie which I could tell you about could fill up a graveyard (see what I did there…*winks*)….but rather than telling you, I’ll let you find out for yourself and laugh just like I did as well.

However, all of this ingenious comedy is then slightly damaged by the somewhat overused caricature humour. There are some characters who are reduced to mindless things to laugh at, and that’s all they are there for, some characters are simply a walking pun and it’s as if Kenny Everrett couldn’t think of any more jokes and simply got these out of the bad-joke recycling bin. We’re meant to laugh at a woman with a lisp, a disabled man with a ‘funny walk’ because he has a metal leg, and two gay men – who yes, have limp wrists. HAR-HAR. Comedy by its nature is subversive, and I don’t care what anybody says, it should be used to ridicule those who have higher statuses, or people in positions of power, not those who are ridiculed everyday. Kenny Everett should know better. It could’ve been a masterpiece.

Verdict: 4/5

Horror Fest: DAY 2

The second day of my pointless ‘challenge’. A challenge which isn’t particularly challenging, albeit that the majority of films on Horror Channel are dreadful. Either way, I’ve managed to record a few more which will be seen in the next few days of this challenge. I even managed to find that infamous film, Teeth, a film I can really sink my teeth into…or just never want to go near a vagina again. Either way, the night started off reasonably fun and camp with a Roger Corman B-movie, and then descended into silly torture, blood and vaginal pubic hair with the two ‘dead teenager movies’ that followed.

The Terror (1963):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057569/?ref_=sr_3

The Terror (1963)

The Terror (1963)

Plot:

A man sees a mysterious woman on a beach who then miraculously disappears. He then investigates into this and gets caught up in a ghost mystery.

Review:

I want Boris Karloff’s eyebrows. They’re just so bushy and amazing, and the emotions he can convey with them are simply spectacular. Maybe I just really like Boris Karloff. I’ve never fanboyed about a particular part of B-Movie star’s body, I think I’ll soon want Bela Lugosi’s eye-lashes, or maybe Tor Johnson’s retina. I dunno.

Either way…this film has all the trademark’s of a camp B-movie castle-ghost story by Roger Corman. A castle – obviously -, bad weather, Boris Karloff as the main, and a random death of a character who dies by being struck by lightning. However, the film doesn’t unfold in a ‘so bad it’s good way’, I actually took the story pretty seriously. This doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t fun though. Surprisingly, the story wasn’t very predictable, and the path of the narrative span around itself a few times in the final third. The movie drawed me into its mystery about the ghostly beautiful woman: why is she there? Why is she haunting Boris Karloff’s character? Who is the old woman? Who’s Eric? The film’s mystery is further intensified by its setting, the castle: dark shadows, doors which are difficult to open, a drawstring gate, and the intense waves of the sea nearby which are threatening and dangerous.

Perhaps the mystery and intrigue is created by the fact that behind the camera was a skilled young Francis Ford Coppola – yes, the man who made The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. But, this isn’t surprising, as B-movie fans will know that he also directed Dementia 13 – a film which at first confuses because when viewed, you realise that it isn’t the 13th installation in a series, and because it is completely unrelated to dementia.

Either way, watch this and gasp at the fact that it’s directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the fact that Jack Nicholson stars in it, and simply divulge in the sheer wizardry that is Boris Karloff’s eyebrows.

Verdict: 4/5

 

The Final (2010):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1390535/?ref_=sr_2

The Final (2010)

The Final (2010)

Plot:

A group of outcasts are bullied repeatedly every day. They then organise a party for their bullies to attend. They drug the bullies, shackle them and begin to psychologically torture all of them, and then physically torture them one by one…

Review:

Films like this make me wonder what has happened to the horror film, or to be more precise: the revenge flick? This film, with all of its torture, acid-cream, tongue-chopping, finger cutting, stomach-stabbing and the fact that anyone who holds a gun with the intent to use it gets ‘punished’ has a deeply blunt anti-violence message. But that’s all this film is ever about: the violence. It is all finger-cutting and no substance. Anyone who has been bullied will know that it’s not the punch that hurts more, but what the punch leaves you with. Psychological damaging is more horrifying than physical. Sure, the opening scene explores this (in a rather unintentionally funny way, mind you), and we see the victims cry and beg endlessly due to the amount of reaction shots…but reaction shots don’t particularly dig deep.

Halfway through the film, one of the outcasts gives a key to a friend who wasn’t supposed to be there. Using the key, he escapes and gets help. I think this is another fatal flaw with the film. This subplot distracts from the main philosophical issues of the film: how far can revenge go before it can be considered morally dubious? Is what the gang doing right? And of course, the repeated bully-victim-cliche: what did they do to deserve this? A statement which can of course be placed on the bullies and the victims.

I think the film would have had a bigger impact if the question wasn’t answered at the end, and instead left the viewer with a gory moral dilemma. The opening scenes where we see the outcasts being bullied should last longer so that we get a precise 50-50 split, and if the sub-plot was ditched, it would make this film even more challenging. The subplot provides a glimmer of hope halfway through. I don’t think this is the sort of film which requires that. It should be harsh and unforgiving. But of course, the film didn’t do this. What do you expect from a film which attempts to scare the audience from that so renowned fear: the fear of having all of your fingers cut off with a pair of garden sheers?

Verdict: 1.5/5

 

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0490076/?ref_=sr_1

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

Plot:

Mandy Lane is hot, and boys would – quite literally (as you’ll find out in the opening sequence) die for her. 9 months later, she’s got hotter and her and a few friends then go to a farmhouse for a fun weekend of sex, drugs and banter. But one by one, the teenagers are hunted down.

Review:

The characters include a jock, a loner, a stoner, an angry man-whore, two female sluts, a virgin girl and a shy innocent male. Now guess who survives and who dies. These characters have sexual relations, as well as drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and then playing truth or dare – it’s as if they’ve been taken from the writers straight out of a crappy horror film. There is a moment where one of the characters goes outside to investigate a mysterious gunshot fire, followed by him pretending that he sees someone and scaring the whole group because he can. There are uses of slow-motion for no reason I can think of. There’s also a charmingly bizarre scene where we see one of the girls cut off her pubic hair with a pair of scissors, for no other reason than to ‘explore the issue of teenage body-image angst’…or something. N.B. Previously in the movie, this girl took a piss in front of all of her girly-friends – as you do – and one of her bezzies mocked her by saying “you really need to cut that thing, it’s like a forest!). Either way, all of this adds up to form an impressively predictable film, and even ‘the twist’ at the end isn’t surprising. I also don’t care about any of the characters. After all, they’re all popular and pretty and handsome and oh so perfect…and so thick it’s as if they’re stock characters taken straight out of a crappy slasher film…oh wait……………

Well, the cinematography was very artsy so at least the deaths had an aesthetic sensibility to them. Whoopee.

Verdict: 1/5

Horror Fest: DAY 1

For no real reason, I’m going to watch horror films every night-time until I eventually get so bored with them that I will resort to pulling out my copy of Hairspray from my DVD cupboard, and then watching it in order to wash away all of the ‘darkness’ which I will probably witness over the forthcoming days. Either way, I like horror films: I find them interesting, fun, silly, the majority quite dull…and then every so often, there will be one that is genuinely terrifying. I will hope to watch all sorts: from the obscure to the mainstream, from monster-movies to zombies-flicks, from slasher to sexploitation. Here goes…

DAY 1:

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063350/?ref_=sr_1

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Plot:

A group of people resort to hiding in a farmhouse when the dead rise up and begin to walk around killing the live and eating their flesh.

Review

Zombie classic which gave George A Romero a cult-status. Surprisingly quite gory for its time, to which I admire its shock value greatly. Perhaps not as scary as it once was – however, I felt that the opening 20 minutes had some excellent moments of tension, particularly when our young heroine, Barbra, tries to enter the house whilst being chased by only one zombie. Ironically, I found that as the zombie-count increased, the less atmospheric the film became. In terms of politics, I can understand why some people would feel that this film empowers the black character, Ben , but this doesn’t hide the fact that our female heroine cries repeatedly to the extent that it becomes annoying, and the only thing we know about her character is that she is quite simply weak and pathetic.

Still, I liked the fact that the film built a sense of claustrophobia and doom due to its minimal locations, pseudo-documentary visuals and the fact that it focuses on the group of characters we’re with as opposed to the widespread devastations of cities and the apocalypse of the entire human race, like later additions to this sub-genre. The film provides a sense of utter despair as everything appears to go horribly wrong: poor decisions are made, bad luck happens, and unfortunate acts of fate. This is the horror film which dispensed with the campness of The Gothic and re-invented horror to being cynical and utterly pessimistic in its views of humanity.

Rating: 3/5

99 Women

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063977/?ref_=sr_1

99 Women (1969)

99 Women (1969)

Plot:

Story concerns a prison which has 99 female inmates. The prison is brutally run by Thelma Diaz and Governor Santos. A new staff member namely Leonie Caroll attempts to put a ban on the severe discipline which occurs whilst all of the female inmates are contemplating escape.

Review:

Recorded this on Horror Chanel, to which Sky+ described it as: “Extreme exploitation film from Jesus Franco. Abused female prisoners are forced into degrading sexual acts by a sadistic warden until the downtrodden women rise up in a frenzy of savage retaliation.” I wouldn’t say it was ‘extreme’ exploitation. None of the female in-mates are forced into degrading sexual acts. Oh, and the retaliation is hardly ‘savage’.

We start off with a group of three women moving towards an island. They then meet the evil prison warden – who, might I add, is excellently performed in a Pantomime style, I can imagine her being a James Bond villain. Next thing we know, each character is stripped of their name and merely becomes a number. When asked what their names are, one of the characters said her real name, to which she is then slapped around the face – the first moment in the film where I reacted to any of its ‘shock-moments’ (the second being where a snake is stabbed with a knife). Later on, nom.99 and nom.76 fight on the beach – it’s somewhat amusing in a really “I feel like a creep laughing at this” kind of way, but hoh-hum, I was watching a film about 99 women trapped behind prison bars – and it’s hinted in the title that they may get rather lesbian. Whoopee.

Later on, nom.76 and nom.99 are punished for wrestling, and no apparent reason (other than the fact that they’re in a bordering-on-creepy sexploitation film) they randomly have passionate sex – all of it being shot out-of-focus, because out-of-focus sex scenes are hipster and artistic, right?

As the film progresses, it gets progressively more dull, and even the rape scene at the end isn’t shocking. I never cared for the main character, nom.99 – if she was randomly ran over by a bulldozer I wouldn’t have noticed. The film is a success in the sense that it manages to make 99 females being shouted at, whipped for no real reason, dying due to poor conditions, and randomly wrestling, incredibly monotonous. In this sense, it as an exercise in making the shocking seem dull, which it does oh so well. It is also bizarre, considering the fact that this is a sexploitation film where all the characters are named after numbers, that this film never makes a 69 joke.

Some moments of surprise, but the majority of the time: really bloody dull.

Rating: 1.5/5