I have been away from Necrotic Cinema for a while due to technical issues and am but for the time being and need to make up for lost time. I have quite a few films I have I seen that needs commenting on and in particular the hillbilly-mutant family trilogy Wrong Turn and Jennifer’s Body. But before getting into those films I want to comment quickly on three films I recently downloaded from some of my sites. I have read lots of negative stuff above the above mentioned films, all of which I enjoyed, and I have to wonder what people expect from horror films any more. I have friends (no really, I do) who are not horror movie enthusiasts and they tend to dismiss horror as a whole and I can respect that. For me horror and related fare is simply escapism. I want a roller coaster ride from my DVD player. But sometimes what comes from the horror genre is simply some of the worst crap ever put to film (or to tape as in the case of the three indie-bombs I am abut to say something about). Seems like horror attracts the aspiring fanboy-auteur in a way that no other genre would even allow. And that is one reason I like horror. I love a film field that allows the likes of Ed wood Jr. or Ted V. Mikels or Al Adamson to maybe make (or more likely lose) a few bucks on something they are passionate about. But what I am seeing more and more is lack of real passion or skill combined with ownership of a video recorder and connections with some straight to video/DVD operation that dupes me over and over into downloading this crud and filling up my hard-drive. Okay, I admit it, I did not pay for any of these films so why complain, right? Look malaria and dengue fever are free too if you think about it.
All of these indie-turds get my first ever ‘no-skull’ ratings. Maybe I am too harsh. I have read people commenting on these things and they seemed to enjoy them. I cannot speak for all the people out there who have slipped off their anti-psychotic medications for a night or two, but anyone with even vestigial remnants of taste will see that this stuff is almost worse (almost) than the stuff Troma puts out. Troma is worse because there is actually some sort of budget and marketing involved and the company will simply not go away. The stuff winds up on DVD shelves even here in China sometimes. I wish they would stick with restoring old classics and stop making real toxic waste like Poultrygeist. I will be brief in my comments since the anguish of revisiting these films must be like a war veteran revisiting a battle ground where all his buddies died.
The first film is called Satanic Panic and was made by indie-filmmaker Marc Selz and distributed by Celebrity Video. This is actually Selz’s third release and the story is supposed to be inspired by events that were being reported about in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The whole ‘satanic panic’ craze has essentially been debunked and the term ‘false memory panic’ would probably be more accurate. The movie has a long introductive narrative that typically is the foundation for a crappy movie that is trying to establish a modicum of credibility before it gets going. The film starts off in a documentary style but it is lousy and not soon enough shifts gears to the story of a brother and sister who suffered some satanic ritual abuse. We know they are brother and sister because they each wear one of those little necklaces that lock together. Suddenly the scene changes to an older woman waking up from a nightmare and we know she is the little girl from earlier because the camera does a lingering close-up of the little necklace. And guess what happens next? I don’t know. And I don’t ever want to know. I ejected the movie and got pissed that it took up 700 mg of space as a data file on my DVD disk and decided the real threat to people is not the dubious urban legend of satanic cults sacrificing new born babies from unwilling brood mares but the very existence of movies like this that people may spend $2 on one night in rental fees. The production is shoddy and, like the next two films, the cast is made up, most likely, of friends of the director and writer who will all sit around and kick a big kick out of watching together over some beer and pot one night. And you know, that is cool. But what about the rest of humanity? This movie stole about twelve minutes of my life and I want it back!
Midnight Movie. My computer sometimes runs low on memory and when Nero finishes burning films to disk sometimes they jump or freeze and I ave to reburn the files before deleting them. This was deleted without the need to reburn and finish the story.This is directed and written by Jack Messit and again seems to have a following of sorts. Even the Huffington Post calls it one of the ten best direct to DVD movies ever made. I think that is called The Tallest Midget in the Circus award. Gorezone magazine gives it 5 out of 5 stars. Well Uranium Willy of Necrotic Cinema and The Uranium Cafe gives it zero out of five skulls. Of these three films this one might be the best but that is still not saying too much. I thought maybe it was going to like the Lamberto Bava/Dario Argento film Demons where a demonic film possesses viewers at a showing and causes havoc in the theater. That’s is not a great film either but it is fun actually. This simply not fun to watch. It is a film in a film movie and a handful of viewers at a midnight movie are soon stalked and killed by the masked antagonist in the movie. The movie was made by a madman who has recently escaped from an insane asylum or something and, because of his obsession with the film, is suspected to show up at the showing of the movie, The first showing since it original release, or something like that. I am a fan of masked, supernatural killers. The killer here is sort of like Jason and uses some weird tool to pull hearts out of his victims. I feel I could be more easygoing on this one and maybe it deserves half a skull at least. I am wrestling with this as I type now but the fact I have to wrestle with the impulse only shows I am trying to be merciful and where does that get you most of the time in life? Usually hacked to death by a slasher-killer that had we simply chopped his head off while he was unconscious. It is shot on tape like all of these movies are and if it was not it looks like it was. The acting is consistently bad and I can find one reason to recommend this bomb. Not one. And who the hell reads the Huffington Post of indie-horror movie reviews anyway?
Late Fee, is a project by John Carchietta and CarlMorano and it is the only one of the three I actually finished (with the help of the fast forward button). Like Midnight Movie it is a film in a film movie, or actually two films in a film. A couple show up at the local video/DVD store as it is closing to rent a couple scary film for Halloween night and are let in by the owner who is wearing a Satan costume for the party being held inside the store. They get a couple films that the owner warns them are very rare and strange. He lets them take the films on the condition they return the DVDs by midnight or suffer the severe late fee penalties. They go back and watch the films and unfortunately so do we. The two vignettes are tastlessly lowbrow and not even worth talking much about at all. The second feature, I forget what was called and who the hell cares, features a mutant woman pulling a fetus out a woman and eating it. Wow. So shocking. Not shocking, stupid and ridiculous. Of course they do not return the DVDs by midnight and the owner and the party goers show up and kill the pair. How many businesses could survive if it killed off it paying customers? Look that is a question too deep and profound for these rubbish heap of film. If you want to see them do so at your own risk. Maybe watch it with someone from Gorezone magazine or the Huffington Post. They seem to know more than I do. I have seen plenty of decent indie-horror films, but this stuff is simply amateurish and boring.
And there will be no screen captures or trailers for these skulless wonders. I have already wasted valuable time that could have been spent reviewing Cat-Women of the Moon , a real classic, over at The Uranium Cafe. All these movies get this:
THREE NO SKULLS