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Not as great as people say
A lot of people seem to think this is a great film, well it isn't as great as they say. I think the reason for the high ratings is simply because of the gore.
When I sat down to watch this I was expecting it to be a gore-fest. The first few deaths were quite good and made me really excited for what was to come. I was literally waiting just to see who would die next. Then, the priest dies with the saw in his chest. What a great death scene! I thought things could only get better. Sadly the film seemed to limp on at a very slow pace after that. The problem with Superstition is that other than the gore, there is little else of interest. The characters are very boring and you don't care one bit for any of them when they die. This would be fine if they were being killed off every 5 minutes, but the death scenes are spread out far too much. About halfway through I was getting very bored and frustrated as nothing much seemed to happen. By the time it got to the end, there were some quite good scenes, but by this time I was thoroughly annoyed with the film. The shots of the witch lit from behind were quite creepy, and the ending was quite good too.
Overall I feel this film might have worked better as a short story or as part of a trilogy. I've given this a rating of 5 because I did like the death scenes early on, and there are a few creepy moments here and there. Unfortunately these are almost cancelled out by the boring moments and wooden characters.
Cameron's Closet (1988)
Not bad for an 80's horror flick
As 80's horror flicks go Cameron's Closet is much better than most. The acting is decent, the effects are quite good and the death scenes are well shot. What more can you ask for? The monster is quite cheesy and you don't get to see much of him, but it somehow works. There's a few nice death scenes which are actually more gory than a lot of 80's horror flicks. I do think things started to slip a bit towards the end, and the ending itself wasn't too amazing.
Cameron's Closet is by no means an essential watch for horror fans, but if you come across a cheap copy you can't go wrong. It's decent entertainment for one night.
Murder Obsession (1981)
Confusing and frustrating
I would take some of the other reviews about this film with a pinch of salt - it's not that amazing and it's not that gory, at least in the version I saw under the title "The Wailing". I also suspect a bit of cheating must have occurred to get it the 5.8 rating.
On to the film... It starts with some brilliant music, the sort you used to get in the early 80's horror films. This made me excited for what was to come, but sadly it seemed to go downhill from there. The problem with The Wailing is that it is confusing and the plot meanders too much. There's some dream sequences that go on for so long you forget they are actually dream sequences. Random scenes seem to be thrown together with no connection. There's also a serious lack of lighting, making it even harder to understand what is happening. It reminded me slightly of Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond" because of the meandering plot.
It does have some good points though. As mentioned, the music is great and gives it a real horror 'feel'. However they used it too much; it almost plays through the entire film and gets tiresome after a while. The atmosphere is quite good, and had the plot been more coherent this could have been a really atmospheric horror flick.
This really isn't worth seeking out unless you're a fan of Italian horror, even then you can still do much better. The UK VHS cover is cool though - I'll give it that.
I found Parasite a really frustrating film. It's not very good but it's not terrible either, it just seems to lie there doing very little. The parasite monsters themselves are quite cool in a cheesy way but I've seen it all before with the likes of The Deadly Spawn. You don't get to see them that much anyway. The plot seems to trundle on in a boring way and fails to engage the viewer - the actors don't make you care much for their characters.
No horror fans should go out of their way to see this film as it's really not that special.
When I found this on VHS recently I wasn't expecting much, after all the cover made it look like any other 80's horror flick. However it really surprised me with its interesting storyline and creepy atmosphere. It has a certain 80's charm about it but isn't too cheesy either.
There's a lot of things I liked about Witchboard, particularly the well shot death scenes. There's a slight feel of "The Entity" to it and some camera angles are similar to those used in The Evil Dead. The sub-plots are quite sweet and there's a few sad moments. The ending rounds things off nicely.
I would recommend this to all horror fans as it doesn't need the gore to make it interesting, something which isn't that common in the horror genre these days.
Evil Laugh (1986)
Predictable, but mildly amusing
Evil Laugh isn't particularly original or special but it's entertaining enough for a slasher film and has some decent death scenes. I think the lack of originality was what spoilt it for me, it's the same old routine of having a bunch of people in a house where they get killed off one by one. There's some amusing moments though, one example being at the beginning of the film when the killer takes out a mans heart, which later gets used in a meal that his friends eat. There also seems to be a bit of slasher film 'self referencing' going on too, with mentions of Halloween and Friday the Thirteenth. Some slasher fans like that sort of thing, but personally I think it brings the film down as it seems too self-conscious.
Overall a good addition to any slasher fans collection, but there's still much better out there.
Trashy Alien rip-off
There's not a lot you can say about Creepozoids, it's really just a rip-off of Alien with an extremely trashy feel. The lighting is poor and the pace is a little slow. However there's some mildly amusing scenes scattered throughout, mostly towards the end when you get to see the monster and the "baby". The monster effects are actually quite decent considering the obvious low budget. I laughed a few times, especially when the guy throws the baby off himself, and also when the monster is apparently holding him up in the air - it's obvious that he's attached to a harness from the ceiling. There's also a few funny scenes involving giant "rats" that look like puppets. Oh, and one of the girls bares her breasts.
Creepozoids isn't a total waste of time, but it's not something you'll want to go out of your way to find either.
Catacombs isn't a bad film, the actors are quite believable and do a good job, and the story keeps you mildly engaged. However, this isn't really a proper horror film as there is little gore or scares. There's a lot of mumbo jumbo about demons which is hard to follow. Apparently it's all to do with a demon trapped underneath the monastery, causing strange things to happen.
There was one good scene where a statue of Jesus comes alive and kills a man, and I suspect anyone deeply religious would be offended by Catacombs for this reason. I wouldn't recommend this film to horror fans as it's neither here nor there. It's not bad but not that great either.
Play Dead (1983)
I've been after this movie for a while, though mainly because of the cool VHS cover and the fact that Yvonne De Carlo is in it. Well, I finally found a copy at a market. The film didn't live up to my expectations, but I'm used to that, being a fan of low budget horror.
The film is kind of watchable and semi-interesting, but isn't much of a horror film because there are no violent deaths. The deaths are caused by the dog but in very tame ways. The plot also seems muddled and the motivation for the killings is unclear. I found the ending rather bizarre but slightly surprising.
The main reason to seek this film out as far as I'm concerned is the VHS cover (the UK one). It looks good amongst my collection of big box horror films and I love the artwork. Other than that, there's little reason to seek out this film, even for fellow fans of low-budget horror.
I was excited when I found a VHS copy of this recently as the cover art is quite cool. But as usual with 80's horror flicks, a cool cover is usually to disguise a crap film. Mind Killer is no exception, but is even more boring than some of the worst 80's horror flicks! The opening looks interesting but after this it all gets dull and tedious. I nearly fell asleep, so I turned it off and watched the ending the next day. There's a little bit of cheesy action at the end, where the brain breaks free from the mans body. However it's far too late to save this mess. It reminded me of the ending to Slime City actually. The acting is bad and the whole film has a cheap feel, but not in a good way.
Avoid this unless you like cool VHS covers.
Trilogy of Terror II (1996)
I thought the first tale was quite good although it gets off to a slow start. Once the action happens and the woman gets attacked by the rats, it's quite fun in a cheesy way. And I love the ending! The second story in my opinion was really dull and clichéd - all we have is a woman's dead son come back to life who terrorises her around the house. We get flashes of lightening every 5 seconds, plus the boy keeps saying the words "Bobby" and "Mommy" over and over and over. How annoying! I was glad when it ended.
The last story of course concerns the famous Zuni fetish doll, and so by default is the best story of the three. To be honest it's nothing amazingly original, but it has a great sense of fun and you can't help but laugh as he scampers around in his mad rage, slashing anything he can get his hands on. I do think he needed to kill a few more people though.
Overall, this is an OK time waster, and of course recommended to fans of the first Trilogy of Terror. Incidentally, if you're a fan of Trilogy of Terror you may want to seek out a film called "Attack Of The Beast Creatures", which is about a bunch of Zuni type dolls that live in trees on an island and attack people.
Cellar Dweller (1988)
Cellar Dweller is a nice surprise for horror fans because it has a mixture of winning elements. The only thing it lacked for me was gore - but it does have a funny severed head scene. The storyline is quite interesting and keeps you watching, and the acting is decent enough to carry it. I quite liked Yvonne De Carlo, but then I've been a fan of her since watching American Gothic.
I do however feel it lacked a little "something" to make it a great b-movie, and that something is gore. The severed head scene is good, but not enough. I also felt that the ending wasn't a good enough conclusion, and this is because the producers obviously wanted to leave room for a sequel.
Overall, Cellar Dweller is an above average b-movie that is not perfect but definitely worth a watch.
Could have been good
I quite liked Roberta Findlay's film "The Oracle" so I thought I'd give this one a go, especially as I thought the VHS cover looked quite cool. Sadly it turned out to be rather boring. It actually has quite a good storyline behind it, but is just done in a very boring way. Which of course means little gore and suspense, and too much talking.
I sort of like the cheap and dirty feel to it - I've always thought cheapness adds a murky atmosphere to horror flicks, take "Midnight" by John Russo for example. It's a shame Findlay didn't go for blood and gore over the "talky" bits as that would have made it much more watchable. Using better actors would also have lifted it out of boring mediocrity.
Overall, Lurkers may be of interest to those who collect rare horror flicks, but gore and suspense fans should stay away.
The Evil (1978)
Good and bad
I was really excited when I found House Of Evil on VHS recently, and it turned out to be quite a decent 70's haunted house flick. However, everything was spoilt by the ending where "the devil" makes an appearance. It just didn't seem to fit with everything else and seemed ludicrous. Up until that point I thought the film had a really creepy atmosphere and sense of doom.
The setting is fantastic and the house is almost as creepy as the one in House By The Cemetery. The opening scene is very good and makes you excited for what is to come. There's one hilarious scene where a woman gets all her clothes torn off by "the evil", but sadly there's no bare breasts to be seen.
Overall, The Evil has its good and bad points. Up until when we're introduced to "the devil" character, the film works. I would recommend giving this a watch if you're into haunted house flicks - it's better than a lot of other ones out there.
I'm unsure why there's so much praise for this film because Shakma is really quite boring throughout. The whole storyline about "the game" is very dull and the only thing I was hoping would make it interesting was the killer baboon himself. There's a few decent scenes scattered about, but not nearly enough to call this a cult classic or even close to a cult classic. The scene where the woman gets killed in the toilet seemed very well shot at first, until she gets back up and reaches for the ventilation grill. Yeah, as if Shakma is gonna suddenly stop attacking her.
Overall, Shakma is not the worst horror film out there, but is nowhere near as good as others on here would have you believe.
Demon of Paradise (1987)
Slow and boring
This is another boring low budget horror/monster movie. The video box art is quite cool (as usual) but the film itself is far too dull. The monster is a guy in a rubber suit, which usually would give you laughs due to the cheese factor, but sadly the monster isn't shown nearly enough to be entertaining. There's no gore nor suspense to be had either. The acting ranges from OK to terrible.
Demon of Paradise reminds me of another horror flick in a similar vein called The Evil Below, which is equally as boring. All horror fans will want to avoid both of these films - all they're good for are the VHS covers.
The Evil Below (1989)
Not really a horror film
The VHS cover for The Evil Below makes it look like a cool underwater horror flick. Sadly it's closer to a boring adventure flick and has no real horror elements. It starts off with some divers who get attacked and we see a bit of blood, but that's the only blood in the entire film.
The Evil Below isn't the worst around, but for a horror film it is tediously boring. The acting is decent and to be honest the only thing that keeps you watching is the developing romance between the two leads. There's a few nightmare sequences where it just seems like the director didn't know what to do. I manged to sit through it all (just about) but I wouldn't recommend this film to ANYONE. Horror fans might want a copy for the cool VHS cover, but it's best left at that.
The Demons of Ludlow (1983)
I was really looking forward to watching this because the VHS box art looks SO 80's. Sadly it was rather dull and I ended up almost falling asleep.
It looked promising to start with - it has excellent creepy music, and there's a rather good scene with some demons near the start. After this everything gets confusing, dull and tedious. If there had been more demons and gore, it might have been interesting. Sadly everything is just a jumble. There were a few OK scenes scattered throughout the film, but none were good enough for me to remember in detail.
Unless you're a collector, avoid this - you'd be far better off watching something like Demons or even Demon Wind.
The Brain (1988)
I found this really cheap on DVD recently and just HAD to snap it up - it's one of those horror flicks I kept seeing on ebay but didn't want to pay too much for it.
It turns out that it's not a bad cheesy monster flick, but nothing special either. I would describe it as average. The brain itself is funny to watch, especially when it attacks. The scene at the end where it explodes in a shower of sparks is hilarious. The plot is silly and loosely ties all the events together. There's some boring moments and some fun moments.
Overall I would rate it as average. There's loads of better films out there, if you're a fan of The Brain then you may want to check out The Suckling (a film about an aborted killer foetus) or The Deadly Spawn. Both have similarities to The Brain and are much more entertaining.
Death Spa (1989)
Gets fun towards the end
After reading the glowing reviews for this film I had to seek it out, especially as it's been compared to Aerobicide (Killer Workout). However I found that Death Spa was not as good, despite the fact that there's more gore.
The plot to Death Spa is a bit muddled and I found it hard to follow to start with. It seemed to be about a mans dead wife who was coming back to haunt him, causing deaths at the spa. There are some nice scenes such as when the naked girls are showering and bits of glass fly at them. And there's the scene where the guys ribs split open. The thing is, the deaths are not quite as 'gory' as some reviewers here would have you believe (at least on the Witch Bitch VHS I saw). The best scenes are at the end when all the mayhem occurs. The highlight is the frozen fish death scene that many have mentioned, which is hilariously cheesy. There's plenty of naked breasts too if that's your sort of thing.
Overall, Death Spa is fairly good but not amazing. The frozen fish scene is priceless. If you liked Death Spa you may also like Killer Workout, which I personally think is much better.
Demon Wind (1990)
Has good and bad points
When I began watching this I had high hopes, because it begins with a burning skeleton on a cross. Now there's a way to begin a horror movie! After this things get a little cliché, but that's not a bad thing in my book. The setting for Demon Wind is great and I love the atmosphere - the whistling wind sounds are really spooky. As the group are travelling in the car, there's a great scene where the camera shows a nest with an egg in, which slowly hatches to reveal...maggots! I thought that scene was cool. When they arrive at their destination they find the skeleton that was shown at the beginning of the film.
Demon Wind is let down however by the slow pacing - it needed a bit more action and less talking. The ending contains a fair bit of action but seemed a little muddled.
Overall, this is a lot better than many of the crappy 80's horror films and I would definitely recommend giving it a watch. It has a lot of nice touches and a great atmosphere that is worth checking out. Some people will moan that it rips off Evil Dead (and it does), but who cares?
Good cheesy fun
I can't comment on if this is better than the first Pirahna film as I haven't seen the first one yet. Bad, I know.
To me this film seemed very cheesy and fun. The acting is decent enough, the flying fish are cheesy, there's some bloody scenes, there's bare breasts, romantic sub-plots, moments of tension...what more can you ask for? It's not the best film around but it's entertaining enough for some mindless fun. It's a shame that there weren't more deaths as this would have made things a bit more interesting.
A pure popcorn flick, nothing more nothing less.
Hard to watch
I have this film on the "Slasher Cinema" box-set with some other films. I found it extremely hard to watch and had to turn off after a while. That's because the sound is too hard to hear clearly, and the picture is very murky. The film also seemed very boring during the 'talky' bits so I thought I'd fast-forward through a lot of them. From what I can gather, Craze seemed to be about the crazy antiques dealer who prays to an African statue and sacrifices people to it. The statue itself looked very weird and creepy and I liked it when the camera zoomed up towards its eyes.
However, I cannot really recommend this film at all, unless you can find a copy with decent sound quality. A tolerance for early 70's films will also help.
La casa 3 (1988)
I will never understand how this film manages to be so cheesy yet so creepy at the same time, but Ghosthouse pulls it off with ease. Right from the start we get some nice gore scenes and that creepy carnival music. Then we get some terrible acting.
The house has a very ominous feel to it, no doubt this is more down to the creepy music used (some of it taken from Stagefright). The acting ranges from OK to completely inept - several of the characters are just unconvincing in everything they say. For example there's the girl who says "Look, it's that horrible man!" The bad acting however makes the film more entertaining to watch and gives you plenty of laughs. The little girl and her doll are also very creepy, but I think the main winner in this film is the weird carnival music that makes it stand out from all other films. I love the scene with the "grim reaper" in and his maggot infested skull.
If you love 80's horror flicks, you can't go wrong with Ghosthouse. It has that nasty Italian feel to it, but also plenty of cheesy fun.
Memorial Valley Massacre (1989)
Better than The Prey
I've seen many low budget slasher flicks and although Memorial Valley Massacre certainly isn't the worst, it certainly isn't the best either. Let's put it this way - it's more interesting than The Prey.
The main problem is that it lacked any real gore. There is a high body count but all the deaths are done in non-gory ways. If there had been some blood splatter then it would have been really cool. The acting varies from OK to terrible, the killer is a Tarzan lookalike, and the film takes a little too long to reach the conclusion. There's a few interesting moments and it's not as boring as some of the 80's slasher flicks were.
Fans of forest slashers will want this in their collection, but gore-hounds should avoid it.