TUSK

1297588852068_ORIGINAL{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

A horror movie from Kevin Smith? Based on one of his smodcasts? About a guy who lures unsuspecting victims to his home in order to turn them into … walruses?

Yup. Tusk is all of those things. And while the premise IS ridiculous, the first two-thirds are actually pretty terrifying, and then it all falls apart thanks to a cameo by a high-profile star who really, really, really loves to wear fake noses and adopt funny accents.

At the start, we meet podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long). Wallace is kind of a douche; his “Not-see Party” podcasts are built around making fun of unfortunate souls on the internet—like a boy who cuts his own leg off with a sword—in which he travels to meet them in person and then comes back home, describing his adventures to his podcasting buddy, Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment). (more…)

Junk Bonds: The Return of Junk Bucket

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This is one of those rare instances where I’ve seen a sequel *before* I’ve seen the original, but in the case of this splatter-filled horror comedy, I think it’s fine. I’ll eventually get around to watching Stephen Lange’s first feature: Junkbucket—and based on its sequel: Junk Bonds: The Return of Junk Bunket, I’m sure I’ll like it just as much!

Writer and Director Lange uses his horror knowledge to drop some great tributes to classic splatter flicks, making this 2013 film feel like something that could have been made in the 70s or 80s … and I mean that in the most flattering way possible.

The story for Junk Bonds closely resembles 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only instead of Leatherface, the Big Bad is Junkbucket: a man who’s got his own “junk” sewn to his face instead of a regular nose, wears his victim’s faces stretched over a bucket, and whose weapon of choice is a phallic axe/club combo. (more…)

Maniac (2012)

Maniac 2012

{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

I didn’t think there was any way Elijah Wood would ever be able to creep me out more than he did as Kevin in Sin City, but I stand corrected. Don’t be fooled by Wood’s usual Hobbit-y, childish demeanor; in the remake of the classic 1980 horror film Maniac, Wood is a scary-stalky-scalping monster.

Wood plays Frank, a shy mannequin store owner who targets young women with lush manes of gorgeous hair, kills them, then brings their scalps home to place on top of mannequins so he can pretend they’re his girlfriends — all while having imaginary conversations with his dead, abusive mother.

Director Franck Khalfoun made the bold decision to film almost all of his update from the killer’s POV; he breaks from it in a few scenes, but for the most part, the only times you see Frank’s face are in reflection, which ups the creep factor by like 10,000. (more…)

Shocker

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Craven’s Shocker is similar to the terribleness of Deadly Friend.

There are elements of ridiculousness that have elevated it to kind of a cult status—most notably Mitch Pileggi (Skinner!) as foul-mouthed, over-the-top serial killer Horace Pinker, and the rockin’ soundtrack which includes the title song Shocker by The Dudes of Wrath, sort of an 80s hard rock super group made up of members from Kiss, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe, and Van Halen.

Shocker was released in 1989, at almost exactly the same time another similar movie called The Horror Show was released. I don’t remember much about THS now, but I do remember that when I finally watched it, I thought it was much better than Shocker. Which is weird, right? That I remember Shocker much more clearly even though it’s cheesier? And even though I thought the other film was scarier and better done overall.

Ah well, the power of Craven, or something.

Shocker is about a serial killer nicknamed “The Family Killer” (clever, huh? Since he kills…families) who is terrorizing an L.A. suburb. The police have no leads, until local college football hero Jonathan gets a concussion after running into the goal post at practice and somehow ends up dream-linked to the killer, Horace Pinker, just as he is about to murder the police chief’s (and co-incidentally, Jonathan’s own) family.

SPOILERS AHEAD (more…)

My Soul to Take: Wes Craven’s worst movie?

I didn’t think Wes Craven could make a movie worse than Cursed, but I was sadly mistaken.

My Soul To Take is horrible, horrible, horrible. It’s like he took a bunch of horror movie moments and mashed them all together, but in the most boring way possible, with some of the worst actors ever cast. Not one decent scare or original thought in the entire movie, including the origin of the serial killer, or his “legend” that lives on…and don’t even get me started about that tacked-on ending.

Sorry, Wes. I can’t recommend this thing to anybody. I’m even surprised I made it all the way to the end.

Funny Games 2.0

I just finished watching the 2007 remake of Funny Games, which is apparently a shot-for-shot faithful retelling of the original foreign film – which makes sense, because it’s done by the same director (wait, what?). It’s probably been about 10 years since I’ve seen the first one, and I remember liking it – but what I didn’t remember is that it at times breaks the fourth wall, and employs one really super dumb use of it.

SPOILERS COMING IN 3…2…1 (more…)

Wolf Creek

31 Horror Movies I Own #25: Wolf Creek

One of my greatest fears is being stuck out in the middle of nowhere being tormented by a sadistic mad man, with no possible hope of escape or finding help. So, uh, needless to say, Wolf Creek succeeded in scaring the pants off of me.

This is also exactly why you’ll never find me doing something crazy like hiking in unfamiliar country and then agreeing to accept the help of a total stranger when my car breaks down—and you ESPECIALLY won’t find me drinking anything said stranger happens to hand me. (more…)