The People Under the Stairs


Another Wes Craven entry for 31 Horror films this October: The People Under the Stairs

Here’s the thing about The People Under the Stairs: when I first saw it in the theater, I was so disappointed because I thought it was TERRIBLE. But since then, I’ve recognized that it actually swings right past terrible into “so bad it’s good” territory. Everything is hilariously over the top, to the point where you can’t actually believe Craven wrote and directed this ridiculousness.

After his parents get evicted from their apartment, “Fool” enlists the help of Leroy to break into the landlord’s house and steal their giant pile of gold coins. Wait. What. Anyway! Things go awry and Fool gets trapped inside, discovering that the house is actually a house of horrors—“Mommy” and “Daddy” (Wendy Robie and Everett McGill, who played Nadine and Ed Hurley in Twin Peaks!!!), a pair of brother/sister/man/wife serial killers, have a habit of adopting kids and then torturing and mutilating them when they don’t behave as expected. (more…)

The Hills Have Eyes


It’s been awhile since I watched Wes Craven’s mutant cannibal family terrorize their unsuspecting victims in the dessert, so I wasn’t sure it would hold up. Having seen the remake more recently, I was thinking that the original version wasn’t quite as disturbing—but I was wrong.

While The Hills Have Eyes suffers from some of the same dated problems that I mentioned The Last House on the Left having, by the time it gets to the killing, you kind of forget about the bell bottoms and super groovy hair.

While traveling on vacation, the Carter family ends up on some seriously crazy back roads (supposedly because they’re “searching for a silver mine”… what.). After stopping at a gas station to fill-up and getting warned by the owner Fred to head back to the main highway, they stranded when their car and trailer tires run over a booby trap (Craven sure likes these!) set by the cannibals.

So let’s see: three women, three men, a baby, and two dogs are stranded in the middle of nowhere, and it’s getting dark, fast. Naturally the smartest thing to do is for the men to split up, and leave them women behind.

SPOILERS AHEAD (more…)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

31 Horror Movies I Own #4: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Another horror film that gets a bad wrap for being “too dated”, the original TCM still holds its place among the top of the very small list of movies that actually scare me.

The key to the scariness of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is atmosphere. The story comes off as really basic because by now we’ve seen it copied 100x or more (I’m looking at you, House of 1000 Corpses); 5 friends set off in search of some fun, run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and stumble upon an old house that just happens to be occupied by a gleefully murderous family. (more…)

Piranha 3D

10 THINGS I LEARNED FROM PIRANHA 3D

  1. Swimming into a passage that connects your lake to a secret, underground, prehistoric lake = not a good idea.
  2. Walking out on to an old, creaky dock in the middle of the night = also, not such a good idea.
  3. Swimming amongst rows and rows of millions of Piranha eggs and then POKING at them = an even worse idea.
  4. Floating in an inner tube = WORST IDEA EVER.
  5. Two naked chicks can hold their breath underwater for a REALLY long time.
  6. A glass bottom boat classes up any homemade porn video.
  7. Piranhas don’t like the taste of breast implants.
  8. It’s possible to still be alive, even with all of your leg meat gnawed off.
  9. The guy who runs the wet T-shirt contest is going to die in the most horrible way possible.
  10. The first bite draws blood, the blood draws the pack (thank you, Christopher Llyod. I only wish you had said “Great Scott!”)