#91 -- Masters of Horror: We All Scream for Ice Cream (2007)

Director: Tom Holland
Rating: 3/5

Everyone knows I love me some killer clowns, and Buster (the star of this episode of MoH) is pretty kick-ass. He's creepy, he's got a method, and I could sympathize with him. However, I don't think this movie did Buster justice. Buster had an ice cream truck, and all the kids in the neighborhood loved him (well, almost all of them). He would put on little magic shows and tell jokes for them. He was a hoot! But Buster had a little stuttering problem, and some of the kids thought it was funny to ridicule him. When a prank went horribly wrong, Buster wound up dead. Now, fast-foward to twenty-some years later, and those kids are turning up dead. Well, not exactly dead, because no one can find their bodies. But Buster is back from the dead, and he's hungry for a some sweet, cold and creamy revenge. He makes voodoo dolls out of his ice cream, feeds them to his bullies' children, and bam! They melt into what looks like Neapolitan ice cream.

Like I said, Buster's pretty kickass. But the whole turning-people-into-ice-cream thing was a little odd. I'm not saying a little bit of oddness isn't a good thing every once in a while, but here it was just a little too much. I love the character, and he had the potential to be wonderful. No, scratch that. He WAS wonderful. But I would have liked to see him go all psycho on everyone, with an axe or a butcher knife or something like that. I know I shouldn't be too picky, but I really think it would have been better that way, because Buster really was a great character. Layne's (the only of the bullies left alive at the end) solution to the Buster problem, also, was a little farfetched. But I guess it's all right. The scenes where Buster shows up in the dead of night to offer frozen goodies to the children were wonderful. The atmosphere was perfect, and Buster singing "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" in his creepy clown-voice was awesome. But there were some holes in the story: certain parts that didn't make a lot of sense. I think this installment could have been a lot better, but it wasn't horrible by any means. I'm a firm believer that nothing the Masters of Horror have done is horrible, and I will always love this series. So check out We All Scream for Ice Cream for all your evil clown cravings!


#90 -- Doghouse (2009)

Director: Jake West
Rating: 4/5

It seems like when I watch a spur of the moment movie, it turns out to be awesome. Doghouse is about a group of guys who want to get away from their wives, girlfriends, or boyfriends. Yeah, there's a gay guy, but he's not the typical homo. He's braver than the rest, and constantly tells them to stop acting gay. Anyways, they travel out to a village in the middle of nowhere to have their little getaway. But when they get to the village, Moodley, they discover that all the men are missing and the women have turned into man-thirsty zombies. Now, these aren't your average shuffling-brain eating zombies. These women are fast, strong, and fucking vicious.

Apparently, this was caused by some sort of military experiment (what zombie virus isn't?), and the only way to slow them down is a sort of dog whistle - an extremely high pitched sound wave that only women can hear. Doghouse is kind of like Shaun of the Dead. I'm not saying they're exactly alike, but they do have similarities. 1) They're British 2) There are tons of zombies 3) They're both funny as hell. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It had me laughing from about three seconds in, and I hardly stopped the entire time. There are many different types of zombies in this one: surgeons, fat ladies, crossing guards, even one woman who looks like Xena the Warrior Princess. There are guys in drag, as well (as an attempt to "blend in"). Everything is just so out there and amazing that a sane person couldn't help but hate it. But since I am far from being a sane person - I really loved it. It's got everything I love: zombies, hot foreign accents, lots of gore, and plenty of humor. So, check it out my fellow zombie lovers! You won't be disappointed.


Favorite Types of Kills

Kills are a very important aspect of horror movies; they’ve just got to be awesome. There are certain types of kills that really get my blood pumping.

Dawn of the Dead
Ah, the always-amazing gutting. I love seeing someone’s guts spilling out on the floor. Zombies are pretty fucking good at this.

Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter
Kind of like stabbing, only better. Seeing someone with a pole, or a sword, or any other sort of large object jutting out of the majority of their body – that’s awesome.

Friday the 13th III: 3D
It’s really amazing to see a killer use nothing but their bare hands. It is a showcase of incredible strength, and it makes me happy inside. Jason Voorhees is really good at this. I love it when he squishes someone’s head, rips their heart out, rips limbs off, etc. It’s incredible.

Yeah, it’s simple, but you really can’t go wrong with it. As long as the killer doesn’t rely on this alone, it’s perfectly fine. And as long as there’s lots and lots of blood, it’s great in my book.

Saw II
Yeah, I’m a sicko, but whatevs. I love seeing someone subjected to such excruciating pain that they wish they were dead – oooh yes. The Saw series is a really good example of this. I love all of Jigsaw’s devices, and those kills were so brutal they really appealed to my gore whore senses.

Creative kills
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors
These are the kind of kills that can’t be described, because they can’t be put into a category. It’s just something the writer’s came up with and put to screen. I love strange and creative kills, and seeing something I’ve never seen before.

Now, the only type of kill I consider “bad” is anything done with a gun. I hate guns. They are so fucking boring, and I’m always disappointed when I see them in horror movies. Come up with something awesome, people! Put the gun down, and grab the samarai sword. Please and thank you.

So what are your favorite types of kills? Any kills you find dull? Share!


#89 -- Halloween Night (2006)

Director: Mark Atkins
Rating: 1/5

A young boy named Christopher Vale had the misfortune to witness the rape/murder of his mother, and the suicide of his father. During the course of this, he became horribly burned and was eventually sent to a mental institution. After killing two guards, he escaped from the asylum, and made his way back home to find his mother's body. Along the way, of course, he had to kill some kids.

These kids were having a pretty neat Halloween party, aside from a horribly cruel prank played by the host. The mysterious man in the executioner costume was believed to be a friend of the host's, until it was revealed that he was murdering their friends one by one.

So, any of this sounding familiar? This movie is such an obvious rip-off that it's almost sad. And it's not even a rip-off that worked. Christopher Vale was burned, not wearing a pale white mask, but the similarities are undeniable. Even the theme song is similar to that of Halloween. Of course, they couldn't recreate the movie entirely, so there had to be some differences. But I think they could have tried harder to make this movie good on its own. I tried to overlook the wannabe-Halloween and enjoy it on its own, but it was impossible. The acting, aside from a couple of peoples', was horrible. The effects: horrible. The ending: it made no sense. The story? Well, it was good when John Carpenter did it, but not so much here. I could find only two redeeming qualities here. The weapons Vale used, that went along with his executioner's costume, were pretty cool. And it made me realize just how much respect I have for Michael Myers. I've never been a huge fan, but I still think it shouldn't be fucked with. I know Rob Zombie fucked with it, and I liked his version better. But the difference is that Zombie didn't try to hide the fact that he was making Halloween over again. He said, "Look here, I'm re-making this movie." He didn't try to pull it off as a complete work of his own imagination. Maybe I'm looking to much into it; maybe it's not a rip-off. You can watch it and form your own opinions, but mine stands. Ignore the rip-off factor, though, and the movie is still terrible.

I couldn't find any photos to go along with this crapfest, but I didn't worry about it too much. I doubt there would have been anything worth sharing anyway.


#88 -- Tales From the Dead (2008)

Director: Jason Cuadrado
Rating: 3/5

When it comes to Asian horror anthologies, or Asian horror in general, I'm afraid this one falls short. I had high expectations for it, due to my love of Asian horror, but I was a bit disappointed. A woman's car breaks down and she hitches a ride with a young woman who happens to be able to speak to the dead. During their journey, the young medium, Tamika, tells Shoko stories that spirits have told her. In the first story, Tamika visits a house haunted by a murdered couple. The scared homeowners' paralyzed son has dark secrets he cannot tell, but Tamika learns everything. Next, it is the story of a man murdered in a hotel room. He was a member of some sort of group that he intended to rat out. This group apparently did not like the idea very much; they had him suffocated and shot down. But one of the detectives on the case may have some secrets...

In the last story, a young man who is fixated on money and success meets with a man who has an offer. He sells time to the dead, and he wants to buy Yoshi's time. He promises him a life of happiness if he agrees, and Yoshi jumps on the opportunity. However, time is something that should never be squandered.

It turns out that Shoko has some secrets of her own, involving a deadly group of women called The Black Widows. But Tamika already knows, and an angry spirit has asked her to do some pretty awful things.

The stories are okay, I guess. They're not very scary, or even spooky in the way that makes Asian horror so great. I liked the wrap-around story much better, and it is the reason that this movie gets a three star rating from me. It was twisted and interesting, and much better than the others. Overall, it's a must see for other Asian horror lovers like myself, of course. But don't expect it to be as amazing as some others.


#87 -- Strangeland (1998)

Warning: May contain spoilers

Director: John Pieplow
Rating: 2/5

I'd been wanting to see this movie for years, simply because I liked the cover. I was intrigued. But I guess you shouldn't judge a movie by its cover. "Captain Howdy" (played by Dee Snider) wanted to give young people a heightened spiritual...something. I'm not quite sure, because he was batshit crazy and didn't make a whole lot of sense. I did get that he wanted to teach them to turn pain into pleasure. He lured people to his home via a chat room and tortured them using body modification. He used suspension, piercings in places they shouldn't be (or at least, that's what his victims thought), and loads of other things. It was pretty graphic, and it had the potential to be wonderful. But it was not...

Captain Howdy was arrested, found not guilty because of insanity, released and given some happy pills. The pills actually worked. He went through a gigantic transformation, apologized for what he'd done, and tried to live a normal life. However, there were some people in town who didn't believe that he'd changed, including Robert Englund as the crazy drunk guy. Crazy Drunk was convinced that Howdy had his daughter (even though she was safely naked underneath her boyfriend), so he formed a lynch mob. His mob kidnapped Howdy and drug him out into the woods to hang him. But thanks to a faulty tree branch and a bunch of lost medication, Howdy was free to do his stuff again.

I wonder if those piercings are real...

Strangeland mostly follows a detective trying to find his daughter and take Howdy out. There's not much action, and it's pretty damn boring. The "torture" scenes and body modifications are pretty cool, but it's not enough. The whole "batshit crazy, arrested, released, reformed, batshit crazy again" thing was annoying and just seemed...weird.

They actually call this movie "Dee Snider's Strangeland." But I'm not sure why; it didn't seem like he had any part in the making of the movie, though I could be wrong. I'm not sure. But I did learn that Dee Snider is an awful actor. Love the guy, but he's terrible. Strangeland did have a pretty kickass soundtrack, though. It includes Pantera, Sevendust, and of course Twisted Sister. That's the only redeeming quality of this crapfest. So overall, didn't enjoy this one.


#86 -- Forget Me Not (2009)

Director: Tyler Oliver
Rating: 4 / 5

I've had this in my Netflix queue for quite some time, but it was one of those "sounds interesting, but I'm not sure" type of things. I chose it today because I didn't want to spend hours trying to decide which movie to watch. And I'll tell you, I'm glad I did. The synopsis is a bit vague, and it really doesn't do this movie justice. Sandy is a pretty, popular girl with a wonderful life ahead of her. When she and her friends play an innocent game after their graduation party, things go horribly wrong. The game goes like this: one person is "the ghost," and they have to chase the others through the graveyard. When someone is touched, they become a ghost too. The last person left "alive" wins. This particular night, though, the game turns out to not be so innocent. One by one, Sandy's friends begin dying off in pretty gruesome ways. And just like in their game, once one of them dies, they become one of the "ghosts." But they don't just die; they're completely erased. The only person who can remember those who have died is Sandy. She has to figure out what's going on and how to keep anyone else from dying. Her past comes back to haunt her, and she just may be to blame for her friends' deaths.

The acting is very well done, the effects are amazing, and this one's pretty damn good. I'm fairly sure that it was originally an Asian movie, and I'm pretty disappointed in having found the remake first. But since I really liked this one, I can only imagine how wonderful the original is and can't wait to find it. The "ghosts" in Forget Me Not are creepy as hell, and I found myself wanting to shut my eyes at certain points. I know, I'm a wimp, but I don't care. The characters were very likeable, and I grew to care about them (every movie should have good characters like this), especially Sandy's brother Eli. It was a spur of the moment choice with this one, but overall it is a wonderful movie.


Elements of Horror

I read a few articles about this, but most seem to look into the psychological side of things: what in our psyche draws us to horror. But that's not what I was looking for. So, I'll just tell you what I think the elements of good horror are. Movies don't have to have every single one of these to be good (because that probably wouldn't make much sense anyway), but I think they should have at least a couple.

1. A good (or at least understandable) storyline.
Of course. If we don't know what the hell is going on, we're not going to be interested. I tend to like romantic background stories involving the characters, or some other kind of sob story. It just makes me sympathize with them, and I want them to survive that much more. Plus, there's got to be a good story about the killer(s) as well. I also tend to like sad or traumatic story for them. I like that love/hate relationship I can feel for the killers.

2. Creative kills & lots of gore.
No one wants to see a bunch of people get stabbed in the gut. A knife will get boring after a while, so we need to have some creative and unique kills going on. I think A Nightmare on Elm Street is absolutely fantastic in this category. Since Freddy kills in peoples' dreams, there's literally nothing he can't do, and the resulting kills end up pretty fucking epic. Some people will say that the kills don't matter, and that the story is the most important thing, but that's a load of horseshit. The story is important, yes, but without those awesome kills why bother coming back for more? And yes, I'm a gore whore, so the bloodier and more vicious the better.

3. Lighting
I realize not all horror relies on creepy lighting, but I love the effect it can have. Something popping out of shadows, or being barely visible, or maybe just slightly blurry. I also like the kind of dark lighting a lot of supernatural horror has. It just adds a little oompf to what is already a good movie.

4. Music.
Yes, yes, yes. Think about it. There's a woman hiding, the killer is close by, and about to sneak up on her. It's something very simple, and if it is completely silent, the tension will be gone. The suspenseful music just makes our hearts beat faster.

I think Asian horror is very good with all of this (except the titties). Their use of lighting is amazing, the storyline is always good and the villains (or ghosts, usually) are always sympathetic. And they're always just downright creepy as hell.

5.The setting.
It really does matter where a movie takes place. Some places just aren't scary (even though I realize some movies actually succeed in making non-scary places scary). I always like woods, carnivals, and creepy old houses.

6. Titties
Yes, I said it. I know I'm a girl, but I grew up watching 80s slasher movies. I'm set in my ways, and I stand firm by my belief that if I don't see titties, it ain't a horror movie. Not literally, of course, but it just kind of makes everything better. Everybody loves some good T & A.

7. A good villain.
This might be the most important. I already said that the killer must have a good story, but there are other things that make a good killer. He (or she) should have some sort of thing. Like, he always chains his victims up, always takes their eyes as trophies, or always jacks off over his corpses. It doesn't matter. He needs some kind of constant thing. He also must be vicious, unstoppable, and just downright awesome. He doesn't have to be super strong, but if he's not he should be super smart. If he doesn't rely on his strength to get good kills, he should rely on his brains.

8. Good victims.
Some people might say, "Who cares about them, they're going to die anyway." But it's very important. They should be likeable and interesting. Otherwise, we won't give a shit about them and the whole movie will be ruined. I've watched several movies with completely dull, and the whole thing was ruined for me. So the other characters are very important.

9. Scary moments.
This one's simple. It's those oh shit moments, the ones that make you want to jump out of your seat or shit your pants. The moments that shock & awe you and leave you on the edge of your seat begging for more. I love it.

10. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
Most of my favorite movies include all of this. It's typical, but it works. There's usually a group of people getting fucked up, partying and getting it on. It's all fun and games and then BAM! A bunch of dead fuckers.

11. Comic relief.
I love when a horror movie has a certain character that is fucking hilarious. That way we can laugh, get scared for a minute, laugh again - at least until the funny-man is killed. Think of Ned in the first Friday the 13th. He was silly and made us laugh all the way until he was killed. In A Nightmare on Elm Street, the comic relief happened to be the killer, which gave us a strange but wonderful feeling. In The Evil Dead, it was the hero that was our funny-man, and we all severely love him for it. It's kind of like life. There's got to be some entertainment and some funny stuff amidst all the horror.


#85 -- Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood (1988)

Director: John Carl Buechler
Rating: 5 / 5

First and foremost: Happy Friday the 13th! You know I'll jump on any excuse to talk about my beloved, and here it is. Up until now, I've been doing my Friday reviews in order of their release, but I figured I'd skip a couple so I could do this one. Part seven happens to be my favorite in the series; I cannot get enough of it. So, here we go.

This story is about a girl named Tina. When she was a little girl, her dad hit her mom in an argument. She was so pissed, she killed her dad using telekinesis. Yep, we've got a fucking superhero on our hands in this one, guys. Well, now Tina's all grown up. But her mind's a little frazzled, so she returns to the lake with her mother and her psychiatrist - to exorcise her demons, I guess you could say. Tina actually turns out to be pretty badass.

Tina gets chummy with a boy next door, who is throwing a surprise birthday party for his cousin. But cousin doesn't show up, and Tina's having visions that tell them why. All the kids next door are just like any other teenagers from Friday movies: drunk, fucking, and fucking dumb. Tina gets upset and, while trying to use her telekinesis to bring her father back from the dead, calls Jason up from the depths of Crystal Lake. Tina tries to save all the other dumbshit teenagers, but what's a girl to do when everyone just thinks she's crazy? Her psychiatrist, it turns out, is not concerned with Tina's well being at all - he's just studying her abilities so he can flaunt them. So when get a saw-thing to his face, we're all pretty happy (I'm actually not entirely sure what that weapon was, but it was pretty badass).

I've heard people say that this movie sucks, because it's too "gimmicky". But what the hell? They were trying something new, and even if you don't like the whole telekinesis thing, you've got to admit this movies fucking awesome. And if you don't, well then, fuck you. Like I said, this is my favorite movie EVER, and here are some reasons why.

- This was the first of four that Kane Hodder put on the hockey mask, and he wore it oh so fucking well. The effects team did an AMAZING job, and I think Jason looks better than he ever did before or ever will again. Half his face is missing, you can see his spine and some of the bones in his legs. He's vicious and terrifying and I fucking LOVE IT. Not only was the look better, but the character was better. I know I rant all the time about how awesome Kane is, but I just can't help it. Jason's rage can be felt in this one. I think Kane himself was angry about something, and this was his way of letting that out. Way to go, Kane, way to go. I love it!

- There are some pretty badass kills in this one too. There are spikes to throats, big saw-things to faces, axes & machetes to faces, and a whole lot of other awesome shit.

This should say it all. Am I the only one with a dirty mind who thinks his face looks like a lady's no-no parts?

So, to sum it up. THIS MOVIE FUCKING RULES. It might be a little "gimmicky" but who the fuck cares? I think this is the scariest out of all the rest, and everyone who worked on it did an amazing job.

So rock on, Jason. Happy 13th, now go kill some fuckers for me.


#84 -- Masters of Horror: Valerie on the Stairs (2006)

Director: Mick Garris
Rating: 3 / 5

Valerie on the Stairs was written for MoH by none other than Clive Barker (it was not an actual story, but an idea sent over to MoH). I haven't read very much of his work, but Clive Barker has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Now, if Valerie had been a short story or a book, I'm sure it would have been extraordinary. But as an entry into the Masters of Horror series, in my opinion, it's simply good.

The story centers on Rob, a struggling writer with bills to pay and a book to publish. He finds a house that gives free rooms to unpublished writers, and promptly moves in. As soon as he does, though, strange things start to happen.

It starts as a knocking at Rob's door; when he opens it, there's no one there. Then he starts hearing a woman crying, and he finally sees her on the stairs. She cries out for help, but eventually tells Rob to stay away from her because "he" doesn't want her to see him. She is terribly afraid of whoever "he" is, but seems to return to him every time he calls. Rob goes crazy trying to reveal the mysteries surrounding Valerie. He discovers that Valerie is the creation of three of the writers in the house. Their imaginations have come to life, to live inside the walls. One man, Everett (played by Christopher Lloyd), created The Beast (Tony Todd) that keeps Valerie prisoner. Rob and Everett must travel down to the monster's lair in order to destroy it and rescue Valerie.

This one is the only of the Masters of Horror series that I think would have been better as a full length movie. This isn't to say that it isn't good, or doesn't pack an awful lot of story into a short time. But I think it could have used a little bit more explanation, mostly about Valerie and The Beast, and how she came to be imprisoned by him. It has its good moments, and some pretty vicious kill scenes, and is definitely worth the viewing. It is very strange, in a good way, and I think it definitely found its place in MoH.

To read Clive Barker's "treatment," as he calls it, go here.