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My ranking of all the Dracula films in the Hammer series from 1958 to 1974.
My ranking of all the classic Universal Studios Mummy films from 1931 to 1948, including the crossovers.
My ranking of the amazing and groundbreaking Star Wars series!
A truly underrated Godzilla flick
I'll never understand why this one gets so much crap. It's not the best but far from the worst, and easily one of the most entertaining entries in the series. It's definitely a huge improvement over the previous two films, that's for sure. Gigan is just freaking awesome, probably my third favorite villain monster (next to King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla) that Godzilla has fought. Having him team up with Ghidorah was a great idea and the two of the made for a truly frightening and deadly pair. I also really love how Anguirus is clearly outmatched yet he never gives up fighting by Godzilla's side.
This one also has a lot of action and monster battles, whereas most other entries have way too much talking and overly long scenes with scientists/police/military sitting around in a board room. Hell, I even enjoyed the human characters a lot, that long haired chubby guy was hilarious. And the evil alien cockroach people made for great bad guys as well. Honestly, I don't know what the people who constantly bash this film were expecting, because it pretty much delivered everything you could want from a giant monster movie. I wouldn't put in in my top five best Godzilla films, but it's far from the worst and way better than everyone says.
Clive Barker is a creative genius!
Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson) and his wife Julia (Claire Higgins) have just moved into a new house in the city. Unfortunately for them, Larry's sadistic brother Frank (Sean Chapman) has just escaped from Hell and is hiding out in their attic. Julia previously had an adulterous affair with Frank, and eventually goes upstairs and finds him as a skinless and vulnerable zombie. Frank needs to feed on human flesh in order to regenerate and become whole again, so Julia agrees to lure unsuspecting men up into the attic to become Frank's lunch. After this goes on for a while, Larry's daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) comes to visit and accidentally discovers what Julia and her undead uncle have been doing. She also discovers the puzzle box - a mystical device with the ability to open doors to other dimensions or planes of existence. She steals the box from Frank and flees, unaware of the power it contains. After collapsing and waking up in a hospital, Kirsty accidentally solves the puzzle box and summons the Cenobites - four demonic beings from another realm that are obsessed with sadism and torture. When the Cenobites are informed that Frank has escaped their clutches, they are less than pleased. Time to raise some hell!
Where Clive Baker (who directed this movie and wrote the book it was based on) gets his ideas, I will never know, but the man is a creative genius and master of the horror genre. This is one of the most unique and original movies I have ever seen with some of the most interesting creature designs as well. Pinhead the Cenobite leader, brilliantly played by Doug Bradley, quickly became a popular horror icon and star of the series that followed. Bradley made the part his own and will always be the one and only true Pinhead to me. But as great a character as he is, I prefer him to play a background role like he does in this film. It's just better that way. All the other actors here do a great job as well, except for Robert Hines (who plays the pointless character of Kirsty's boyfriend Steve) who really has no business being in the movie at all as he brings nothing to the story whatsoever. Sean Chapman in particular owns as the S&M obsessed Frank. He plays a great antagonist whose actions set in motion the events of the movie. Aside from having a very compelling and intricate story, this movie has some of the best visuals I've ever seen as well. The numerous glimpses of Hell (which we see more of in the sequels) are simply superb as well as the monster makeup of the various creatures that inhabit it. I've never seen Lucifer's Pad depicted in such a vivid and imaginative way. I could go on and on about how this movie lives up to its reputation as one of the greatest horror films of all time but I'll end this review buy saying that anyone who enjoys fantasy films with great characters and special effects should check this one out.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
A well directed slasher with an extremely shocking ending!
As a child, Angela Baker (Felissa Rose) witnessed her family get killed during a horrific boating accident. Eight years later, the still traumatized and slightly disturbed Angela and her cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten) have been sent to Camp Arawak by their eccentric Aunt Martha (Desiree Gould). Angela and Ricky quickly notice that this summer camp is full of cruel bullies and pranksters who just wanna ruin everyone else's fun. Angela is constantly harassed for being so shy and introverted and Ricky is very protective of her. Angela opens up to a nice fellow camper named Paul (Christopher Collet) and develops a relationship with him. Meanwhile, a mysterious killer has been stalking and killing the numerous jerks at the camp responsible for tormenting poor Angela. As the bodies pile up, it becomes apparent that anyone with less than honorable intentions won't be leaving this camp alive!
On paper, this film looks like it would just be another generic 80's slasher film set at a summer camp. It contains all the ingredients commonly found in this type of film complete with the camp setting, POV shots, obnoxious teens, atrocious acting/dialogue, and even the token slut character. But don't just shove this one aside as another standard Friday the 13th knockoff, as beneath all these clichés is a very unique and compelling story. One in which I was actually invested in from the start and was anxious to see how it played out. Another element that sets this film apart from the others is the character of Angela, competently acted by the lovely Felissa Rose. It's rare for a slasher film of this ilk to contain such a complex and interesting character. I really felt for this poor girl and wanted to see the ones who bullied her pay for what they had done. I should also mention the mind blowing ending, which is truly one of the most shocking I've ever seen. I won't give it away, but know that it's something you won't soon forget. This movie is truly something special and is a must see for all horror fans who appreciate a slasher that offers a little more than just meaningless slaughter.
The Funhouse (1981)
Very amusing fast-paced and atmospheric thriller!
Four teenage friends consisting of Amy (Elizabeth Berridge), Buzz (Cooper Huckabee), Liz (Largo Woodruff), and Richie (Miles Chapin) go on a double date to a sleazy traveling carnival and decide to spend the night in the haunted fun house. Unfortunately for them, a hideously deformed killer named Gunther Straker (Wayne Doba) who works at the carnival is also in the fun house and is out for blood. Aided by his equally deranged father Conrad (Kevin Conway), the homicidal freak begins stalking the teens one by one and murders them in grisly ways. Meanwhile, Amy's younger brother Joey (Shawn Carson) has snuck out against his father's wishes and is also at the carnival. He witnessed the four friends go into the haunted ride but never saw them come out. Can these innocent teens escape the fun house with their lives?
Tobe Hooper has had quite an interesting career. The man directed such masterpieces as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, and Salem's Lot and is also behind this amusing 1981 horror flick. The Funhouse is a very fun movie but comes nowhere near the previously mentioned Hooper classics. It has a great villain and some great kills but falls a little flat in some areas. The main characters here aren't exactly likable, and I didn't really care whether they lived or died. Seeing them play pranks on people, smoke pot, and act like obnoxious hooligans just made me root for the monster to finish them off. I also didn't care for how some parts seemed to drag on forever when I already knew what was going to happen. I understand this was done to slowly build suspense, but when I predicted nearly ever turn, the payoff wasn't as satisfying. I will say that I absolutely love the setting of the carnival at night. I wish more horror films had this great atmosphere, which made for some very enjoyable scenes. All in all, I think every horror fan should check this movie out for its wonderful scenery, creative death scenes, and highly interesting villain. It does have its flaws, but I'm glad that it's a part of my collection nonetheless.
Child's Play 2 (1990)
Chucky is back in this excellent sequel!
Two years ago, young Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) was terrorized by a killer "Good Guy" doll named Chucky. Chucky was possessed by the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) and the only way he could become human again was to transfer his soul into Andy's body. After murdering several people, the evil doll was burnt to a crisp and dismembered by Andy's mother which effectively put an end to his crimes. No one believed Andy's mom and she was taken away to a mental correction facility for her crazy story. The now eight year old Andy has since been placed into a new home with foster parents Phil Simpson (Gerrit Graham), Joanne Simpson (Jenny Agutter), and their adoptive daughter Kyle (Christine Elise). Meanwhile, Chucky has been reconstructed by the company that manufactures the Good Guy dolls in order to prove a point. Knowing that Andy is his only means of becoming human again, the murderous doll immediately goes after the poor boy and will kill anyone who gets in his way!
I will never understand the bad things that I sometimes hear about this sequel, it's great! Sure the first film is way scarier and more suspenseful but here we see way more of Chucky and his one liners, which are both cruel and hilarious. Most of the adults in this film are very unlikable and I've heard people complain about that, but it makes it all the more satisfying when they meet their fate at the hands of Chucky! The killer doll is once again voiced by Brad Dourif, who is a huge favorite of mine and never fails to deliver those lines with such wicked devotion. No one can ever replace Brad and you can tell he loves being the voice of Chucky. Alex Vincent is also on top of his game here as Andy from the first film and delivers a structured and layered performance. He has great chemistry with Christine Elise who plays Kyle, his foster sister. This sequel has some of the best kills of the whole series and I also love the action-packed finale in the toy factory. This movie isn't quite as good as the original but I will still give it a perfect rating as seeing more of Chucky is always a good thing. I'll never get over his side splitting comment about women drivers towards the end of the movie, funny stuff! Long live Chucky!
A great anthology from horror masters King and Romero!
Horror greats Stephen King and George A. Romero came together to bring us this highly entertaining collection of five creepy tales in the tradition of the old horror comics from the 50's! In addition to the five stories, there is also a wraparound segment featuring a young boy who tries to read his beloved Creepshow comic book as his abusive father (Tom Atkins) repeatedly takes it away. The stories themselves range from either really great, mildly amusing, or just plain mediocre. I'm gonna review each one of them separately.
"Father's Day" - Aunt Bedelia (Viveca Lindfors) murdered her own father seven years ago. On Father's Day, his vengeful corpse returns from beyond the grave to torment her family of rich snobs while asking for his cake that he was promised before death. Other than a cool looking zombie, this segment is pretty weak compared to some of the others. The final frame gives it a few extra points, but other than that I'm glad that this is the first story so we can get it over with. 5/10.
"The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" - A dim-witted hillbilly named Jordy Verill (Stephen King), finds a fallen meteorite that he plans to sell and make a small fortune for himself. A slimy substance from the meteorite gets all over him and his house. After a few days go by, a strange weed begins to grow from the substance and eventually covers the entire farm including Jordy himself! This segment is slightly better than Father's Day but King's over the top acting and the fact that the title gives the ending away pretty much ruin it. 6/10
"Something to Tide you Over" - Harry Wentworth (Ted Danson) and his girlfriend Becky Vickers (Gaylen Ross) are kidnapped and taken to a beach by Becky's vengeful ex-husband Richard (Leslie Nielsen). Richard buries them up to their heads in the sand and succeeds in his revenge plot as the tide comes in and they both drown. Unfortunately for Richard, Harry and Becky return as waterlogged zombies that stalk the murderous ex-lover in his house. This is by far the greatest segment in this entire anthology. The acting from Leslie Nielsen and Ted Danson is great and very believable. The slimy seaweed covered zombies were very creepy and made for some intense and scary scenes. I can tell that King and Romero put the most effort into this one. 9/10
"The Crate" - Henry Northrup (Hal Holbrook) is sick to death of his overbearing and constantly nagging wife Wilma (Adrienne Barbeau). She treats him like crap, and he constantly fantasizes about killing the bitch. Meanwhile, the janitor of a university has found a mysterious crate in the basement and accidentally unleashes the previously sealed away monster that was inside of the crate. The monster eats people and is very hungry. Professor Dexter Stanley (Fritz Weaver) tries to stop the ravenous creature as Henry sees it as a perfect opportunity to kill his wife. This is the second best story here and definitely the funniest. I found it hilarious how Henry hates his wife so much and wants to feed her to a man eating monster. The scenes where he imagines himself killing her and everyone cheering are a riot as well. 8/10.
"They're Creeping up on You!" - Upson Pratt (E.G. Marshall) is a rich and reclusive tyrant who lives in a somewhat futuristic looking penthouse. He treats his employees like crap and is generally mean to everyone he talks to. He is deathly afraid of bugs, however, and his fear becomes a reality as cockroaches invade his fancy apartment. This segment is mostly just gross as opposed to being actually scary. The main character is very unlikable so it is rewarding for him to get his just desserts in the end. Overall, this story is mostly forgettable and could have been way better. 6/10.
Fans of anthology films, comic books, or horror movies in general should appreciate this great anthology from two of the greatest horror masters. See this movie mainly for "Something to Tide You Over" (which they should have saved for last) and "The Crate" but know that you'll also enjoy the other spooky tales as well as the intricate wraparound segment. All in all, with the five stories combined, this film would average out into a 7 out of 10.
Child's Play (1988)
An original and scary horror classic!
The notorious serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is fatally shot by a cop named Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon) in a toy store. Ray uses his last dying words to recite a voodoo chant that supposedly grants life after death. Using this chant, the sadistic murderer transfers his soul into a nearby "Good Guys" doll before all life ebbs from his body. A few days later, six year old Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) is given the same doll as a birthday present from his mother Karen (Catherine Hicks). Andy loves his new Good Guy doll, which is able to talk and move its head around. Calling itself Chucky, the doll begins to tell Andy strange things and takes him to odd places where murders are committed. It seems that Chucky, animated by the soul of Charles Lee Ray, seeks revenge against Mike Norris for killing him. The evil living doll also finds out that in order to become human again, he must transfer his soul into Andy's body. When Karen Barclay finally realizes that Chucky is alive, she enlists Mike's help to stop the murderous doll and save Andy's soul.
This fantastic modern day horror classic has one of the greatest premises ever conceived. Kudos go to director Tom Holland and writer Don Mancini for giving us this highly original and timeless film. Chucky is one of the greatest horror villains ever and in this movie, he is actually very scary. Brad Dourif was the perfect actor to give Chucky his voice, as well as playing the human Charles Lee Ray before he becomes a living doll. I'm so glad he returned for every installment in the series that followed this movie. Brad IS Chucky, and always will be. All the other actors here are very convincing and believable in their parts, Chris Sarandon from Fright Night being a favorite of mine. It's a shame he hasn't done more films in recent times. Catherine Hicks does very well as the concerned and protective mother, I genuinely felt bad for her in certain scenes. Usually I can't stand kids in horror movies, but Alex Vincent didn't annoy me at all and actually did very well here. Great job Alex! I also love the Chicago setting, which made for some beautiful big city scenery. The fact that it's also wintertime with snow on the ground enhanced that. The best thing about this movie, besides its great villain, is the suspense. Chucky is kept in the shadows for the first half of the movie and most of the kills are suggested. This was a great way to build scares and toy with the audience at the same time! I would recommend this movie for anyone who loves scary and suspenseful horror films with a great storyline, villain, and setting. Child's Play rules!
The Stepfather (1987)
A great horror film with an interesting and original premise!
Jerry Blake (Terry O'Quinn) is the perfect family man. He's all about the traditional working class "married with children" kind of life. That is, until someone in his family angers him or is basically anything less than perfect. That's when he murders them all, changes his identity, and finds a new family. He's been doing this for quite some time and has gone by many different aliases over the years. His current family consists of his wife Susan (Shelley Hack) and his stepdaughter Stephanie (Jill Schoelen). Everything seems to be going well until Stephanie starts dating, then Jerry decides that it's time to take out the knife and dish out his own form of brutal punishment. Then he can simply find another family under a new identity. Unfortunately for the homicidal stepfather, his former brother-in-law Jim Ogilvie (Stephen Shellen) is hot on his trail. Jim seeks revenge against Jerry for killing his sister, and has just bought a gun ready to dish out some punishment of his own!
I've always been a huge fan of this great horror film and appreciate its interesting and original premise. How can you not be intrigued by a brilliant but psychotic man who longs for the perfect family and is willing to try again and again until he gets it right? He doesn't just leave them when things go wrong, he kills them. Terry O'Quinn excels in his performance as the maniacal family man and gives a new meaning to the term "home sweet home". Jerry Blake is one of my favorite horror villains in film history and he probably would not have worked with a lesser actor. Jill Schoelen as Stephanie is a great lead character and, although I was somewhat rooting for the stepfather, I really felt for her and wanted her to come out alive at the end. The vengeful former brother-in-law subplot also had me glued to the screen, as it provided a lot of background to the stepfather character. This movie was followed by two sequels. O'Quinn returned for part 2, which was pretty good although it was basically just a rehash which brought nothing new to the table. Part 3 featured a different actor in the stepfather role, which just didn't work for me at all. I would recommend this movie for anyone who appreciates intricate and engaging horror thrillers.
My favorite Freddy film!
Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) is a troubled teen whose dreams are haunted by the evil Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), the ghost of a serial killer who was burned to death by the angry parents of his young victims. If Freddy kills someone in their dreams, they die in real life. After several of these horrific nightmares, Kristen is taken to a local mental hospital where she meets other teens who are tormented by Freddy at night when they go to sleep. Among these troubled young men and women are Kincaid (Ken Sagoes), Joey (Rodney Eastman), Taryn (Jennifer Rubin), Will (Ira Heiden), and a few others. The teens are visited by Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), the main character from the first film, who is now a psychiatrist who specializes in dream therapy. Nancy is the only one who believes the poor kids as she went through the exact same thing three years ago when Freddy killed all her friends. She discovers that Kristen has the power to pull other people into her dreams, a gift she decides they all must use to their advantage. Nancy, with the help of Dr. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson), then guides the teens and trains them to use their special dream powers against Freddy. These "dream warriors" may actually have what it takes to defeat the wicked nightmare demon for good and send him to hell where he belongs.
This is one of my favorite movies of all time! I know I'll get lots of crap for this, but I actually like it better than the first movie! Don't get me wrong, the original is far scarier, darker, and more sophisticated but I'm afraid I would have to pick this sequel over it by a hair. There were things in the first film that never got explained and made no sense at all not to mention the ridiculously stupid ending. This movie is just way more entertaining and enjoyable to watch, with some great characters. It's great to see Heather Langenkamp return as Nancy and Robert Englund gives what is without a doubt his best performance as Freddy. This is the first movie in which Mr. Krueger is no longer dark and scary but hasn't exactly become a completely goofy comedian yet, like in later films. I love how his voice changes from quiet and sinister to deep and demonic throughout the movie. My favorite part of this film has to be when Freddy takes possession of his own charred skeleton in the real world and then buries someone alive. That scene had some great special effects! What else can I say about this movie? Well just watch it and find out why it's a magnificent entry to the Nightmare on Elm Street series!
A spectacular sequel with great performances!
Ten years ago, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) finally stopped the insatiable murderer Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) by causing a huge explosion which engulfed them both in flames. They survived, however, with Michael in a coma and Dr. Loomis having some bad burn scars and having to walk with a cane. It is revealed that Michael's sister Laurie Strode, who he was trying to kill, died in a car accident a few years after he was burned to a crisp. Her nine year old daughter Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), who is Michael's niece, has been living in a foster home where she is very close to her adoptive sister Rachel Carruthers (Ellie Cornell). Michael awakens from his coma, still covered in bandages, and escapes while being transported to another hospital. He kills several people and quickly finds a pasty white mask similar to the one he wore during his previous killing spree from a decade ago, along with his familiar gray coveralls. It becomes apparent that he is after his young niece and will stop at nothing to finish her off. Dr. Loomis must now stop his evil enemy once again before poor Jamie is killed!
I can't decide whether I prefer this film or part 2 as the best Halloween sequel. Neither can compare to the original, but both are good in their own right. I like how Michael is now targeting a little girl as it gives the film a darker and meaner edge. This film also represents the actual Halloween spirit better than any other film in the series (with the possible exception of part 6). When I first watched this, I was thrilled to see Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis return as he is one of my favorite horror protagonists of all time. It may not be very realistic that he and Michael survived their fiery fate at the end of the second film, but that's okay because a suspension of disbelief is pretty much required to enjoy films like these anyway. Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell are both great in their respective roles. Props mainly go to Harris for being able to pull off such a believable and emotional performance at such a young age. George P. Wilbur is an excellent Michael Myers, giving a very scary and intimidating portrayal which kind of reminded me of The Terminator. Anyway, those are some of the reasons why fans of the first two movies will love this entry, which shares no continuity with the unrelated but still good part 3. I would rate this magnificent sequel with a whopping 9 out of 10!
Halloween II (1981)
A great sequel that is nearly as good as the original!
After soulless killer Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) left a trail of bodies throughout his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, sole survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is rushed to the hospital to be treated for her injuries. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) tried to stop Michael by shooting him six times, but the masked maniac escaped and immediately resumed his merciless killing spree. He soon arrives at the hospital where Laurie is staying, and begins butchering anyone who crosses his path while searching for his target. Dr. Loomis, who finds out that Laurie is actually Michael's long lost sister, quickly realizes that Michael must be trying to finish what he started several years ago when he killed his older sister Judith. Dr. Loomis quickly travels to the hospital, which is now the site of a grisly massacre. He plans on ending Michael's reign of terror once and for all! But how can you stop someone who seems to be indestructible?
This sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece Halloween has more action, more gore, and even a couple of explosions. That doesn't quite make it better than its predecessor, though it comes close to being almost just as good. I always loved this movie and found it to be a great and immensely entertaining followup to one of the best horror films of all time. Michael Myers, played excellently by Dick Warlock, isn't nearly as mysterious or scary as he was in the previous film, but here is way more violent and brutal. It seems he is tired of wasting time and will stop at nothing to find and kill Laurie, played by Jamie Lee Curtis who gives a great performance just like before. Donald Pleasence excels once again as the now obsessive Dr. Loomis, who seems to be losing his mind and, by the end of the film, may have grown just as insane as Michael. I love the claustrophobic setting of this movie, as the darkly lit halls of the hospital make for some truly creepy atmosphere. Add to all that an epic and explosive finale, and you have Halloween II. If you're a fan of the original, check this amusing sequel out right away. You won't be disappointed!
A brilliant and highly effective masterpiece of suspenseful horror!
Michael Myers (Nick Castle) murdered his older sister on Halloween night when he was six years old and has been locked away in a mental institution ever since. Michael's psychologist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), has recently given up on him, as he seems to lack a conscience or any human emotion whatsoever. A few days before Halloween, the now twenty one year old Michael escapes from the asylum and goes back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois where he steals a creepy looking white mask to wear over his face and hide his identity, along with a new outfit and some knives. Dr. Loomis follows him there in an effort to stop him, as he is the only one who knows what his former patient is capable of. The purely evil psychopath targets three teenage girls that consist of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Annie Brackett (Nancy Loomis), and Lynda van der Klok (P.J. Soles). On Halloween night, Michael Myers begins stalking and killing anyone who gets in his path while Laurie and the other girls are babysitting young children. Can Dr. Loomis stop him before he succeeds with his deadly mission?
What can I say about this amazing movie that hasn't already been said a thousand times? Director John Carpenter is a truly a genius and this film alone is a testament to that. The Michael Myers character has to be the scariest villain in movie history, right down to every terrifying trait. He's just an unstoppable monster who has no remorse or grief about what he does. he is just pure evil in human form. I love how they kept him in the shadows for most of the movie and you never knew where he was, which upped the scares and suspense factor immensely. I applaud Nick Castle for his great portrayal as the mysterious masked murderer, who is the living embodiment of fear! Scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, who went on to star in several slasher movies in the early 80's, played a great lead girl. She seemed genuinely terrified throughout the film, making the happenings all the more believable. Donald Pleasence's excellent character of Dr. Loomis is one of my favorite horror protagonists of all time and luckily we got to see more of him in most of the sequels that followed. Speaking of the sequels, none of them were able to capture the eerie and ominous presence that Michael Myers had in this movie, which was perfectly done. I could go on and on about what makes this movie so chillingly effective, but the best way to appreciate its greatness is to simply watch it and see how a brilliant horror film should be made. Flawless filmmaking!
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
A terrific entry to the awesome Friday the 13th series!
Jason Voorhees (Richard Brooker) is a deformed maniac who lives at Camp Crystal Lake, where he kills anyone who happens to be there. Jason supposedly drowned as a young boy several years earlier but he keeps coming back somehow and can't seem to be stopped. After the survivor of his last massacre is taken away to the hospital, some new camp counselors arrive. These counselors include Chris (Dana Kimmell), Rick (Paul Kratka), Debbie (Tracy Savage), Andy (Jeffrey Rogers), and the goofy prankster Shelly (Larry Zerner). As soon as they arrive, the young counselors engage in having sex, drinking, and smoking pot. Jason isn't about to let them go about their fun in his territory, so he ditches the potato sack that he used to wear on his head in favor of a hockey mask (stolen from Shelly) and begins brutally killing the teens one by one! Chris has a history with Jason and encountered him years before. Will she have what it takes to face the evil man from her past?
The Friday the 13th series has to be the greatest horror franchise of all time simply because, in my opinion at least, none of the entries are absolutely terrible (well, except Jason X). Sure some of them aren't as good as others but compared to most horror sagas, pretty much every installment here is great or at least very entertaining. Part 3 is no exception, and features some of the greatest moments of the whole series. This is where Jason first obtains his iconic hockey mask that he wears throughout the rest of his movies. That mask has since become one of the most recognized items in horror history! The characters in this film are some of the best of the whole series as well, with the prank loving jokester Shelly being a favorite of mine. Richard Brooker is a great Jason and in my opinion a huge improvement over Steve Dash, who played Mr. Voorhees in the previous film. If you were only going to watch five Friday the 13th films, definitely make this one of them as it is a spectacular entry to the series!
A fantastic slasher film featuring good old Jason!
Two years ago, Tommy Jarvis finally defeated Camp Crystal Lake's resident mangler Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) by chaining him up at the bottom of the lake. Tina Shepard (Jennifer Banko) is a troubled young woman who possesses extraordinary telekinetic powers, which resulted in the death of her father several years before. She is still haunted by her father's death and is watched over by a psychiatrist named Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser), who notices that her psychic abilities only seem to work when she is overly emotional or enraged. When Dr. Crews continuously provokes her, a frustrated Tina rushes out to the lake and, with her powers, accidentally releases Jason from his watery grave. He makes his way back to camp and begins mercilessly killing off the new counselors there, a few of which have befriended Tina. The psychic teen decides that it is now her responsibility to stop Jason's brutal killing spree, and uses her mind powers against her masked foe in a battle of epic proportions!
This is my second favorite Friday film next to part 4. I appreciate how they brought something new to the table with this entry and provided a fresh take on the Jason story. Let's face it, the formula was getting a bit repetitive and monotonous with the last couple films. It's a good thing his installment breathed new life into the series. Introducing the Tina character was a great way to give Jason a worthy adversary who can actually defend herself against him with her awesome gift. It was just like seeing Jason vs. Carrie White from the Stephen King novel! Kane Hodder is a wonderful Jason and you can tell he enjoys playing the part, especially since he returned for the next three films of the series. He also happens to be my second favorite actor to don the hockey mask, next to Ted White. Jason has the best look in this movie, with the zombie makeup effects being very well done. When you finally see his face during the unmasking scene, he is one scary looking dude! The final battle between Jason and Tina is so entertaining that my eyes were glued to the screen for the entire duration. I didn't want it to end! I will say that the way they finally defeat Jason is really stupid and is one of the most bizarre moments of the entire series. It doesn't really take away from the movie though, which gets a perfect score in my book!
My favorite Jason film!
Hockey mask wearing serial killer Jason Voorhees (Ted White) is defeated when a would be victim takes an axe to his skull. His supposedly lifeless body is taken to the morgue where he awakens and begins offing people left and right, continuing the killing spree he started a couple days before. He makes his way back to Camp Crystal Lake, his home, where some new counselors have just arrived. Among them are Jimmy (Crispin Glover), Ted (Lawrence Monoson), Paul (Clyde Hayes), Sara (Barbara Howard), and others. Twelve year old Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) and his older sister Trish (Kimberly Beck) happen to live near the camp. While driving home, the Jarvis siblings befriend a hitchhiker named Rob Dyer (Erich Anderson). Rob has actually come to Crystal Lake seeking vengeance against Jason for killing his sister Sandra (from part 2). As the masked murderer begins slaughtering the helpless counselors one by one, it's up to Rob and the Jarvis siblings to put an end to his reign of terror once and for all.
This is not only my favorite Jason film but is also one of the all time greatest slashers I've ever seen. This entry has some of the best kills, best suspense, best nudity, and even some great acting which is rare for a Friday film. Little kids in horror films usually irritate me, but Corey Feldman as the young Tommy Jarvis actually comes out of this okay. I liked him a lot! It's too bad that Feldman got so annoying when he got older. The Tommy character appeared in the next two installments of the series and quickly became one of my favorite horror protagonists (especially when Thom Matthews played him in part 6). The characters of Jimmy and Ted had me cracking up with their hilarious antics. I adored every scene they were in! Jason himself is also at his best here and I loved the way Ted White played him. He's no longer as clumsy and awkward as he was in the previous two movies. Here he is just a hulking, unstoppable killing machine that cannot be reckoned with. Ted White is by far my favorite Jason as he gave a flawless portrayal as the machete wielding psychopath. Despite its inaccurate title, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is the best of the series and a must-have for all slasher fans!
Night of the Creeps (1986)
I love this underrated B-movie gem!
A vessel containing an intergalactic experiment from an alien spaceship arrives on Earth. Meanwhile, a young couple is making out in their car near where it lands. The guy, after hearing the strange noise it made, goes to investigate. The girl stays behind and is killed by an escaped mental patient with an axe. The guy finds the vessel, which opens up and frees an alien slug. The slug then enters his body through the mouth and takes control of his brain. Thirty years later, Chris (Jason Lively) and J.C. (Steve Marshall) are two college students who, while trying to impress a beautiful young co-ed named Cynthia (Jill Whitlow), are hazed into leaving a dead body on the sorority house doorstep. They only get as far as the morgue where they find a frozen corpse, actually the young man from before, and accidentally thaw him out along with the parasite in his brain. Soon the alien slugs multiply and start taking control of all the students around campus, resulting in a terrifying zombie crisis. Chris and J.C. join forces with the one liner spitting Detective Ray Cameron (Tom Atkins) and must now fight to put an end to this threat from beyond the stars!
This is one of the greatest horror films I've ever seen and it sickens me how little known it is. This movie has all the right ingredients for B-movie greatness and is one you will want to watch over and over again. All the characters here really fleshed out and three dimensional. Ray Cameron, played by the always great Tom Atkins, is hilarious and steals every scene he's in. He's easily one of my favorite horror protagonists ever. I just loved him! Jason Lively as Chris makes for a great hero as well and gave a very grounded and credible performance. I could go on and on about the acting but what really makes this movie so perfect is the intricate premise of alien slugs taking over human bodies and making them into mindless zombies. It's like a clever tribute to the sci-fi monster movies of the 50's but with an 80's twist. Another cool treat for horror fans like myself is that most of the characters are named after great horror directors (such as Carpenter, Raimi, Cronenberg, etc.). Night of the Creeps was definitely made for people who love this sort of thing and I applaud the filmmakers for that. I could write an entire novel about what makes this film so great but I'll go ahead and conclude this review by telling you to check it out immediately. You will not be disappointed!
Slaughter High (1986)
Very fun 80's splatterfest!
Marty Rantzen (Simon Scuddamore) is a nerdy high school student who is frequently tormented by his peers. One day the bullies go too far while playing a prank on Marty, and he becomes injured and subsequently hospitalized. Poor Marty was badly disfigured from the accident they caused and was never the same after that. Ten years later, everyone involved attends their high school reunion and, suspiciously, it seems as if they were the only ones invited. The school has since become abandoned and is now quite a creepy place, especially at night. When the former bullies are killed off one by one by a creep wearing a jester costume and mask, they realize that Marty Rantzen is back for revenge!
God bless the 80's! They sure don't make them like this anymore and that's a shame because films like this have resulted in some great times for yours truly. I have always loved revenge movies, especially ones that involve an outcast getting even with those who wronged him. Put that formula into a slasher format and you end up with this awesome film. There are a few flaws here, however. Aside from some minor things like the actors in the beginning looking way too old to be in high school, throughout the film I kept wondering why no one tried to leave when the murders first started. There's a vengeful killer on the loose, get the hell out! The filmmakers should have included a better reason why they couldn't escape. I also despised the ending, which was simply awful in comparison to the rest of the film. I won't give it away but it nearly ruined the movie for me on the first viewing. I still love Slaughter High though, and would definitely recommend it for any slasher fan who's looking for a great time!
Fright Night (1985)
All bow before the greatest vampire movie ever!
A teenage horror fan named Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) witnesses his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) growing fangs and feeding off of a helpless female victim, whose dead body is found days later. Unfortunately no one believes Charley's story about the undead murderer next door, not even his girlfriend Amy Peteron (Amanda Bearse) or his best friend "Evil" Ed Thompson (Stephen Geoffreys). After being laughed at by the police, the troubled teen tries to enlist the help of former actor and TV show host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), who doesn't believe him at first until he sees that Jerry Dandrige has no reflection in a mirror. After Jerry turns Evil Ed into a vampire and kidnaps Amy, Charley and Peter Vincent grab some wooden stakes and team up to stop the evil bloodsucker once and for all!
Not only is this my favorite vampire movie but is also in my top five favorite horror films of all time! This highly entertaining 80's frightfest offers pretty much everything you could want from a scary movie featuring vampires. All the actors here are excellent in their roles. Stephen Geoffreys as Evil Ed steals every scene he's in with his over the top performance (especially after he becomes one of the undead) and Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandrige is a very suave and charming villain who can be extremely frightening at the same time. In addition to the perfect casting, this film has just the right blend of suspense, scares, and humor to make for a very amusing and captivating watch. The only minor complaint I have about this movie involves a scene where Charley asks Evil Ed for advice on how to defeat a vampire, which makes no sense seeing as it was established earlier in the film that Charley is already an expert on the undead himself! That doesn't take any points off of this awesome movie however, which gets the perfect score of 10 out of 10!
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
By far my favorite Christmas themed horror film!
As a young boy, Billy Chapman (along with his infant brother Ricky) witnessed his parents being murdered by a thief/rapist dressed up like Santa Claus during the Christmas season. Seeing his mother and father killed by Santa was a very harmful experience for poor Billy, especially after his insane grandfather convinced him that Old Saint Nick severely punished naughty children. The traumatized boy was then put into an orphanage under the care of some nuns led by the overly strict Mother Superior (Lilyan Chauvin). During his stay, Mother Superior's obsessive views on punishment further scarred the young boy's already shattered mind. Now Billy (played by Robert Brian Wilson) is all grown up and working at a toy store. Christmas is in a few days and it's Billy's job to dress up as Santa Claus for the children. After the kids leave and his co-workers begin partying, he completely loses it and goes on a bloody killing spree while still dressed as Kris Kringle. 'Tis the season to grab an axe and deck the halls with chunks of bodies!
There was a huge controversy when this movie first came out. Angry parents relentlessly protested against the idea of a killer Santa and wouldn't stop until the movie was banned from theaters. They won, but fortunately for us the movie was a big hit on video and became a notorious cult classic as the years went by. I couldn't have been older than ten or eleven when I first rented this flick from the local video store and popped it in my VCR during the holiday season. My verdict? Aside from some really terrible acting, this movie rules! Not all the actors here were bad, however. Robert Brian Wilson is particularly convincing as the axe wielding psychotic Santa with a tortured past. He displayed all the right emotions here and after watching him grow as a character, you can actually feel the pain that he suffered over the years. After what he went through, I can't say I blame him for wanting to paint the walls red with blood! It's unusual for a horror film to give the main antagonist (who is also basically the main character in this case) an extensive backstory and show all the events that led to them becoming a murderer. I really appreciate the fact that we can sympathize with the villain and at the same time have loads of fun watching him go on his "slay ride". Keep in mind this is a slasher film first and an engaging character study second. Lilyan Chauvin gave a very convincing performance as well. Her discipline obsessed character gave me chills! All in all, this is a great horror film with a great antagonist. It has since become a tradition for me to watch it every Christmas!
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
One of my favorite 80's slasher flicks!
Twenty years ago in the town of Valentine Bluffs, a group of miners were trapped underground due to the negligence of two supervisors who were in a hurry to get to a Valentine's Day party. The only survivor was Harry Warden, who killed the others and resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. He was declared legally insane and sent to an institution but escaped a year later on Valentine's Day. Donning a mining suit and gear, he murdered the two supervisors responsible for his confinement, placing their hearts in candy boxes. He warned the town to never have another Valentine's Day celebration or he would come back to exact his vengeance once again. He was taken back into custody and was never heard from for the next twenty years. Cut to present day February 12, 1981 and the town has decided to ignore Harry Warden's threats from two decades ago and have a celebration anyway. Meanwhile, someone wearing a mining suit has begun killing off locals one by one with a pick axe and placing their hearts in candy boxes. Has Harry Warden returned to finish what he started?
This has always been one of my favorite slasher movies from the glorious 80's and one of the things that sets it apart from the others is the in depth characterization of the leads. The love triangle between TJ (Paul Kelman), Axel (Neil Affleck), and Sarah (Lori Hallier) was done very well and made for an engaging watch. All the players here were very believable although of course there were a few groan inducing characters like the token fat guy who is still dressed by his mother and the typical annoying prankster, which were common elements at the time. But it's no doubt that the best thing about this film is the killer himself. A miner with a pick axe who breathes heavily and shines his light into his victims eyes before offing them is a fantastic idea for a slasher villain. And the compelling backstory he was given is intriguing as well. I also love the claustrophobic setting of the rustic mining town and the final act which takes place underground, making for some very suspenseful and creepy moments. This film has some great gore too. Unfortunately most of it was cut by the MPAA but luckily it was restored in the special edition DVD. There is a twist at the end which doesn't make much sense at all and rewatching the movie doesn't make it seem anymore believable. I won't give it away but you'll see what I mean when you watch it. All in all, this is a terrific slasher film that is definitely worth checking out for any horror fan. The 2009 version was really good too, definitely one of the better remakes I've seen.
Highly entertaining sequel to a horror classic!
Twelve years after Sally Hardesty escaped the clutches of Leatherface (Bill Johnson) and his sadistic clan, her uncle Lefty (Dennis Hopper) gets help from a local radio DJ named Stretch (Caroline Williams) to put an end to these brutal crimes once and for all. He arms himself with three chainsaws and infiltrates their underground hideout after Stretch is kidnapped. It seems that Leatherface has a huge crush on her, and apparently wants to keep her alive despite the protests of his brothers. Lefty finally arrives at the lair of the murderous psychopaths ready to exact his revenge. But the evil cannibals aren't going to go down without a fight. Let's rev up the chainsaws and go at it!
This followup to one of the greatest horror films of all time takes a completely different approach than the original and I, for one, completely respected that. It's hard to capture that kind of magic twice in a row. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 is gorier, more action packed, and way more humorous. This movie is filled with several scenes of slapstick comedy which, in my opinion, serve the film very well. Lefty, played by the always excellent Dennis Hopper, is one of the coolest horror film protagonists ever and his determination to bring the demented Sawyer family down is what kept me so entertained while watching this awesome flick. He and Caroline Williams have great chemistry. I also thought that Bill Johnson was a great Leatherface (though he comes nowhere near Gunnar Hansen) and loved seeing Jim Siedow reprise his role as Drayton from the first movie. Chop Top (played by genre favorite Bill Moseley), an extension of the Hitchhiker character from the original, is a really fun character and stole every scene he was in. I really loved the underground tunnel setting as well. This film isn't without its flaws (that ending seemed rushed and was way too abrupt) but the groovy chainsaw duel during the climax of the film more than makes up for it. All in all, this is an extremely fun movie and a worthy successor to the original masterpiece!
Army of Darkness (1992)
The action packed conclusion to the Evil Dead trilogy!
After Ash (Bruce Campbell) was sucked into a vortex and sent back to the medieval age at the end of Evil Dead 2, he now must go on a quest for the Book of the Dead in order to be returned to his own time. In doing so, he accidentally resurrects an army of living skeletons led by his evil undead twin! Lots of carnage and laughs ensue as the shotgun toting, chainsaw armed hero must now battle these monstrous forces with his 20th century tactics and deliver mankind from an ancient evil!
This highly entertaining third installment in the awesome Evil Dead series takes a completely different direction than it's two predecessors. Whereas the first two films were strictly horror (though there were many humorous moments in part 2), this film is a straight up action comedy with Three Stooges type gags and filled with slapstick humor. I love how much the protagonist Ash has evolved in the course of three films. In the first movie, he was quite an introverted coward but is now a wisecracking, one liner spitting action hero. He also happens to be my favorite movie character of all time. Bruce Campbell is the man! This is his movie, and he shines throughout every scene he's in. This movie comes highly recommended if you're a fan of hilarious and action packed horror comedies. I know I am!
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
One of the most incredible and effective films ever made!
Siblings Sally (Marilyn Burns) and Franklin (Paul A. Partain), along with three other friends, travel to their hometown in Austin, Texas to see if the graves of their deceased relatives have been disturbed after a series of grisly grave robberies. What they don't know is that a family of cannibalistic murderers is lurking about waiting for fresh meat. One of these demented cannibals is a chainsaw wielding psychopath named Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), who wears a mask made of human skin!
One of the most brilliant films I have ever seen, horror or otherwise. It's perfect in every way. The atmosphere, the tone, the grittiness, and just about every other aspect add to why it's so effective. Flawless film making. What can I say about this movie that hasn't been said countless times before? Aside from being one of the most influential horror films ever made and introducing one of the most iconic villains in movie history, everything here is done extremely well. You can tell that director Tobe Hooper and the others had their stuff well researched and knew what they were doing. The effect this movie had on people when it first came out has yet to be outdone. It feels like a real crime caught on film and the amateurish way it was shot further works to its advantage.
When I first watched this film I felt like I was actually there and could feel the pain and misery Sally was going through. Add to that the psychological ride her character endures and how realistically she reacts to what is happening around her. The fear factor is communicated so perfectly in the final twenty minutes. A lot of the actual horror is suggested and you really have to use your imagination, which ups the disturbing factor. Unfortunately most of this generation lacks said imagination and needs everything to be spelled out in front of them and spoon fed, like in the terrible remake which upped the gore and action but completely lacked substance. Nothing will ever come close to this film, which is perfect in every way!
Highly entertaining 80's gorefest!
The egotistical young Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) develops a formula that can revive the dead and attends a medical university to expand his knowledge and perfect his creation. He teams up with fellow student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott), who is dating the dean's daughter (Barbara Crampton), and begins experimenting on various corpses from the morgue which often bring disastrous results. A professor who teaches at the university, Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale), plots to steal West's formula and make it his own. He fails and ends up being decapitated and brought back to life by West, now as a headless body and a talking severed head.
This is an excellent horror-comedy for gorehounds that definitely lives up to its hype. Loosely based on the H. P. Lovecraft story, Re-Animator is a fast paced thriller with superb special effects, a compelling story, and great acting. Jeffrey Combs is great as the obsessed Herbert West and Dr. Hill is one of the coolest villains I have ever seen in a horror film. This movie is very gory and fits in well with other films of its kind such as Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive. If you're a fan of over-the-top blood soaked 80's films, then be sure to give this one a watch.
Stylish and well executed horror classic!
A backwoods dad named Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) witnesses the death of his son who is accidentally killed by vacationing teens on motorcycles. Seeking revenge, he goes to see an old witch who summons a tall demon in order to do his bidding and avenge his son's death. Pumpkinhead begins killing the teens one by one in gruesome ways and loves to taunt his victims before tormenting them. Ed and Pumpkinhead seem to develop a bond and begin to resemble each other. Pretty soon Ed begins to regret what he has done and tries to save the teens.
This is a great movie to watch late at night in a dimly lit room. The dark and dreary atmosphere really sets a perfect mood for a folktale/monster flick like this. Pumpkinhead (played by Tom Woodruff Jr. who also designed the suit) looks fantastic and kind of resembles Ymir from Twenty Million Miles to Earth. This movie also has terrific acting and amazing special effects that even hold up to today's standards. An inferior sequel starring Andrew Robinson (from Hellraiser) followed six years later.