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The Mutilator

Great Effects
For a tiny budgeted little movie, the effects work is fantastic even when the thin script can make you scratch your head and twiddle your thumbs. Some of the actors are decent, but some are downright laughable. The killer isn't very imposing to look at, but he does some serious damage and there's a catchy theme song. The Mutilator might be middle of the road as slashers go, but there are fast worse ones out there and the effects give it that little extra bit of pizazz to give it a solid cult following.

La polizia brancola nel buio

Remarkably Boring Giallo
Talky, nearly gore-free, and overlong at under 90 minutes, The Police Are Blundering in the Dark might be one of the least interesting giallos ever made. While most giallos aren't known for their award winning scripts or realistic dialogue, there's usually a little style or sleaze to keep one's interest, but this film is too coy and pedestrian to keep one's attention.


Creepy in Spurts
As badly made as Unhinged is, don't be surprised if a few moments sneak up on you and give you a case of willies. The location, cast, photography, and music score are all just strange enough that they, occasionally, create something very effective in spite of the meandering, thin script. The finale has been done before and might offend people these days, but it's executed well here and leaves things on a haunting, disturbing note.

Killer Workout

Can't Take Your Eyes Off Of It
Killer Workout is bottom of the barrel, direct to video trash, but it's hard not to have a decent time when a slasher film dares to have its killer's weapon of choice be a giant safety pin. For a moment, you might believe this is some sort of satire or parody, but as the film goes on, it becomes clear that it's taking itself incredibly seriously and it's all the better for it.

Death Screams

Not A Big Winner, but Not the Worst Either
The local color is on full display in House of Death and seems as if the whole town has come to to play and help bring this silly slasher film to life. There's a lot to like about this movie - some of the death scenes are interesting, there's an attempt at some character development here and there, and there's an enjoyable low budget energy to everything. However, the version I saw was so poorly lit and/or color timed that most of the death scenes look like colorless blobs. It also renders the big finale and killer reveal totally useless, because it's too dark to see the killer's face. Don't ask me whodunit, because I still can't figure it out.


Eggar Gives It Her Best Shot
A demonic severed hand springs to life and attacks Samantha Eggar and her husband before going on a mad killing spree, infecting and possessing anyone that comes into contact with it. It's hard to know what to make of Demonoid. Despite a handful of campy and silly moments, it's not fun enough to enjoy as a drunken party movie and it's definitely not serious or scary enough to work as a terrifying horror film either. It does decide to keep its run time fairly short so that you don't feel like you're wasting too much of your time and I appreciate that.

Fade to Black

Torn Between Genres
The concept for Fade To Black could go many different directions, but the film wavers between serious character drama a la Joker, made for TV melodrama, and a cursory attempt at a slasher film. They never really mesh and the film feels too confused to make much of an impact in spite of a wonderful central performance by Dennis Christopher. Linda Kerrige also makes for a smashing Marilyn Monroe impersonator.

Strange Behavior

A Lot To Take In
Strange Behavior loads a lot into its 98 minute run time. There's a mad slasher running around in a creepy mask carving up the local teens and that's not even the half of it. There are also strange doctors doing even stranger experiments on said teens which leads to the titular strange behavior. It's not the goriest or scariest horror film ever made, but that makes some of the film's more effective and grisly moments stand out all the more.


Memorably Warped
Just your average love story between a deranged woman and her lover's decapitated head. Macabre gets by on its grisly concept alone. The dialogue and acting aren't bringing much to the plate, but the story is loaded with melodramatic Southern gothic by way of Italy sleaze which at least makes it for a memorable viewing experience.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously
Jason Lives features some of the most likable victims of Jason's machete that have ever populated the woods around Camp Crystal Lake and the film has a much more satirical tone than the other entries in the series, but doesn't get too cutesy about it. The gore, though mutilated a bit by the MPAA like all the other entries in the franchise, isn't the star attraction here, so it fares better than some of the other sequels in the franchise that were more about the effects.

The Demon

Nothing Spectacular
The killer is striking and some moments work, but most of The Demon is a big bore and one of the most obvious and less inspired Halloween clones out there. They try to bring in some psychic/ESP stuff, but they do away with that by the middle of the film and you almost wish they'd never even bothered with it in the first place. I suppose it is memorable for being one of the only films I can think of that has its heroine completely nude for the final chase sequence.

La casa delle anime erranti

Better Than I'd Thought It Would Be
I came upon this one by pure accident and wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Like the other films in the Ghosthouse universe, the plot isn't the best and the characters are crudely drawn at best, but the horror set pieces are memorable enough to keep one's interest throughout and it doesn't even crack the 90 minute runtime mark, so it's not a big commitment. People walking around with minimal horror makeup shouldn't be as creepy as they are in this movie. A lot of the horror scenes are made creepier by how unremarkable and mundane they are and then the film hits you with something insane like someone being decapitated by a washing machine.


Utterly Bizarre
A woman who had a supernatural encounter in her childhood gets possessed by a demonic spirit who turns her into a violent succubus, terrorizing gardeners, maids, and her own husband. The effects are great even if the movie feels cheaply made and the script didn't get that final polish it needed before going in front of the cameras. Acting is middle of the road with LaWanda Page stealing the show as the housekeeper who gets out of harm's way ASAP once danger starts lurking. Despite its many issues, it's very entertaining in spite of it all and still worth seeing.


So Much Fun
Heartfelt and funny horror comedy in the tradition of Landon's previous two films. It's either a style you'll love or one that'll annoy you. The odds are it's probably too slashery and gory for the comedy fans and too funny for those wanting a straightforward slasher. For those of us who enjoy a little mashup every now and then, I can't imagine anything more fun in this day and age. The story isn't the most original, but some of the death scenes are fun and Newton and Vaughn appear to be having the time of their lives.


Well Done, But A Little Safe
Sarah Paulson is great channeling Misery's Kathy Bates as a deranged mother who'll stop at nothing to keep her invalid daughter from going off to college. While the performances are strong and some scenes really crackle with suspense, one sometimes wishes they embraced the nuttier aspects of the story to create something a little more memorable, because the story and Paulson's performance stop just short of being brilliant. I kept imagining this being directed by Curtis Harrington in the 70's starring someone like Shelley Winters.

Happy Birthday to Me

A Good Time
A nearly 2 hour excuse to showcase some grisly deaths and silly plot twists, but that's not a bad thing. I did sometimes wonder if the film's content really supported the run time, but the pacing isn't terrible, so you don't spend most of the movie checking your watch. It's nice to see Melissa Sue Anderson in something other than Little House on the Prairie and she's really likable in this as the birthday girl with memory problems whose friends keep disappearing and she might be the one responsible. The finale is one of the silliest and most entertaining conclusions I've ever seen.


Pacing Stops Too Often
A few suspenseful sequences here and there can't fix the slow pacing of this thriller where a couple are terrorized by hoodie-wearing psychos in and outside of their secluded country house. The Strangers covers essentially the same ground and falls victim to the same issue - too much time is spent with the characters hiding in rooms and not doing anything with the killers not doing much of anything either. After this happens a few times, all urgency flies out the window and you stop caring.


Creepy Witch Film
Widely considered to be Dario Argento's masterpiece, Suspiria is light on plot and nuanced characterizations, but heavy on mood, style, and gruesome death sequences. An American ballet dancer arrives at a German dance academy at the same time another student is brutally murdered and she tries to solve the mystery with the help of the murdered girl's roommate, leading them to believe their school is a front for a coven of wicked witches.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Unique Entry in the Franchise
You try something new and you get punished for it. That seems to be what happened to everyone involved in the Halloween franchise after this film came out. This film itself probably feels the most like the Halloween season, has a great atmosphere, wicked concept, and a memorable synth heavy score by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth. Some plot points aren't as well developed as they could have been and a few moments of horror read more silly than scary, but it's the last Halloween film to have a similar atmosphere as the first two.

Just Before Dawn

One of the Best Slashers I've Seen
Heavy on mood and relatable characters, Just Before Dawn takes a tried and true premise and puts its own haunting stamp on it. The memorable parts of this movie aren't the splashes of gore or decapitations, it's the quieter, more eerie moments. It's not a film full of big, loud jump scares, but it's more comfortable letting the tension build slowly until the absolutely insane finale. Great atmospheric woodsy photography and a spooky synth score by Brad Fidel.


Unique Horror
Great sex isn't reason enough to murder people. You can't tell that to Julia, though. The sex with her husband's brother, Frank, was so good that when he shows back up asking her to bring him men to feast on so that he can go back to normal, she's more than happy to do it. Things don't go according to plan when the Cenobites, demons from the hell where Frank recently escaped, show up and want him back. Gross, sticky effects and a great score by Christopher Young.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

One of the Best In the Franchise
If this had truly been the final chapter of the franchise, I think people would have been much more satisfied. Everything about this film feels bigger - like an event. Jason's meaner, the kills are nastier (and less chopped up by the MPAA), and the cast is likable.

Home for the Holidays

Entertaining TV Movie
Written by Psycho's Joseph Stefano, Home For the Holidays involves a bunch of sisters reuniting at their ill father's home while someone's out there in a raincoat and pitchfork killing anyone in sight. Could it be their stepmother who might also be poisoning their father?

An early attempt at a slasher movie with an all star cast and network TV standards. Don't expect a lot of blood, because they weren't allowed to go very far on TV back when this was made, but it's nice to see the likes of Sally Field, Julie Harris, Jessica Walter, and Eleanor Parker in a film of this sort.

The Sleeper

Engrossing Slasher Homage
The Sleeper gets more of that 70's/80's vibe right than a lot of other movies that have tried to do the same thing. It's not just about the clothes and hairstyles and cars, it's about the tone and the pacing. The Sleeper understands that.

The story is nothing spectacular and ends up feeling like a mix and match bag of elements from Black Christmas, Final Exam, and He Knows You're Alone, but it works and I found myself completely engrossed throughout, except for that painfully bad disco scene. That really was the pits.

The Last Slumber Party

About As Bad As Movies Get
Three teenage girlfriends celebrate their last day of high school by having a slumber party, not knowing that an escaped scrub and mask-wearing killer has set his sights on them.

The Last Slumber Party is about as far as you can get in the barrel without scraping the bottom. At under 80 minutes, it'd padded to high heaven with nonsensical dream sequences. The acting is awful with terrible line readings and women well over high school age pretending that they're still 17 or 18. The kills are all uninspired with the same blood squirting scalpel dragged across yet another hapless victim's throat. The movie also looks as if it was shot on several different formats and cut together. Some scenes look like they were shot on film and crudely transfered to video later on while most of the film resembles late 80's family camcorder videos.

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