Category Archives: Horror: Supernatural

Movies about supernatural happenings that don’t involve the Living Dead. Vampires and Zombies need not apply.

The Slayer

Date:
1982
Stars:
Sarah Kendall
Frederick Flynn
Carol Kottenbrook
Writer:
J.S. Cardone

Bill Ewing
Director:
J.S. Cardone
WRC Score:
3/4

A retreat to a secluded island turns to terror as The Slayer stalks a couple of couples. Who will live? Who will die? Who will write the long form of this review so I don’t have to?

Nah, I’m just playing. It’s already in the can.

For the majority of its run time this flick is, if not a scary film, then a moody one. The characters don’t descend to hatefulness thanks to the actors (maybe), but you probably won’t care if most of them died. Or none of them. Or all of them.

It’s a low budget affair, so if you don’t expect too much, you probably won’t be that disappointed. Just know going in that the lead female is having mental issues and, yeah, she tries desperately to get the others to believe her about the evil going down.

Deeply original this film just isn’t, but for the most part there’s nothing wrong with it, outside it isn’t really scary.

“Majority of its run time.” “For the most part.” Sounds like a major caveat coming, doesn’t it?

Here it is, in as mild a spoiler as I can manage.

In the last third The Slayer commits a major sin that I can’t look past. I knew it was coming from around the credits, I was braced for its appearance. Still didn’t matter. It should never have happened.

Thus I’m taking a half point off, pushing a meh flick down to bad (0.5 points). I also can’t say that I like it that much, though a part of me really seems to want to. I don’t dislike it, though, so that’s an official meh (1.0 point).

Your mileage might vary, but I really don’t think so.

Crazy Eights

Date:
2006
Stars:
Dina Meyer

George Newbern

Traci Lord
Writers:

Dan DeLuca

Jimi Jones

Director:
Jimi Jones
WRC Score:
2/4

Crazy Eights is a card game dealing with…

Wait, we’re not talking about the card game?

We’re talking about a movie?  One that wasn’t made several decades ago?

Huh.  Thought I learned my lesson about that last time.

Anyways, Crazy Eights details the efforts of a group of friends trying to honor the last wishes of a departed member of their group.  This puts them in contact with another former member, much to their sorrow.  Madness, mayhem, and other fun party games soon ensue.

Let’s get the good out of the way, first, shall we?  This is a decently acted, decently directed flick.  The characters do not grate on the nerves too badly, and when they do, it’s usually intentional.  There are some oddities with editing, but it can be quite a moody flick and work perhaps a little better than it should.

Which is me slipping into a little more critical a mood.

See, Crazy Eights is one of those films that works best if you don’t think about it too much during the run time.  There are a whole flock of questions that get asked (chief of which is “What the hell is going on?”) that don’t quite get answered.  With this comes the usual Horror Clichés such as characters running around by themselves when they know they aren’t supposed to

Guess what happens to them when they do?  You’ll be so… not surprised.

In fact, the characters tend to act more like chess pieces than people.  To be fair to the flick, I didn’t notice or mind right up until towards the end, when the characters started doing really, really stupid things.

And talking about the antagonist will only result in spoilers, which isn’t what this review is for.

Worse, though, is the soundtrack.  The music never lets up, and sometimes drowns out the dialogue.  It’s almost as if the filmmakers had to pay the composer by the note for just composing and wanted to make sure they got their money’s worth.

Very annoying.

Now that this hand is done, let’s tally up the points.  Crazy Eights isn’t by any stretch a bad movie.  It just isn’t really a good one, either (1 point).  I’d be lying if I said it didn’t work for me on watching it, but after… don’t care (1 point).  Don’t hate it, don’t like it, it just is.

Too bad.  I think it did have some potential there…

Score: 2 points out of a possible 4

 

La chiesa

Also Called:
The Church
Date:
1989
Stars:
Hugh Quarshie

Tomas Arana

Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
Writers:
Dario Argento

Franco Ferrini

Michele Soavi

and others
Director:
Michele Soavi
WRC Score:
3/4

La chiesa (also known as The Church) is another in a long line of stories dealing with Medieval Knights only half solving a problem, forcing modern day folks to deal with the supernatural fall out centuries down the road.  You know.  Typical real life stuff.

Or, if you want a better little synopsis, a greedy librarian uncovers a secret in an old cathedral that he really shouldn’t have.

Anyway, La chiesa started out life as the second sequel to the Horror Cl– film.  Horror film Demoni.  However Director Michele Soavi wanted to do something different.  Something that wasn’t “pizza schlock”, a term which, despite my liking the two films, is entirely too apt.

What he got instead is what I feel to be one of the better Italian Horror flicks.  Like most in the subgenre,  the flick has more style to it than substance.  What narrative structure it has goes to pieces around the half way mark, but by then, I think the mood and imagery carries the viewer through the rest of the way.  Plus, if I can be allowed one small spoiler, the story short of covers this, too, so it might have been intentional.

La chiesa is not without flaws.   The (dubbed) acting isn’t the best and the special effects aren’t quite golden.  Still, I believe it hits its marks more often than not and is a damn good movie (1.5 points).  I really kind of liked it (1.5 points).

You’re mileage may vary.  especially if you have no use for Italian Horror.

Score: 3 points out of a possible 4

 

Dèmoni 2… l’incubo ritorna

Date:
1986
Stars:
David Edwin Knight Nancy Brilli

Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni

Writers:
Dario Argento Lamberto Bava Franco Ferrini Dardano Sacchetti
Director:
Lamberto Bava
WRC Score:
3/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
April 19, 2014

In Dèmoni 2… l’incubo ritorna, tenants at an apartment building find themselves trapped in a hellish situation as a late night horror movie turns one of its viewers into an actual Demon. One that can change others into Demons with a scratch, or a drop of her blood.

This sequel to the originally Dèmoni can easily be described as Dèmoni in an apartment building instead of a theater. It has the same large cast, the same lapses in logic (though in different ways), and the same sense that it really should have been better than it is. It is also just another Zombie flick with Demons instead of Zombies. It might be a little better than some, but only enough to push it into the mediocre category.

If you feel kindly towards it.

Which I do.

In fact, I love this flick, howlers and all (2 points). There’s no rational reason why I do. It’s just that Dèmoni 2… l’incubo ritorna hits all the right buttons for me in all the right ways. In fact, I seem to think it might be a wee bit better than the original.

Again, Dèmoni 2… l’incubo ritorna isn’t a good movie. However, if you like reasonably Bad Movies you could do a lot worse.

Overall Score: 3 total point out of a possible 4

La casa fantasma

Also Called:
Ghosthouse

Date:
1988

Stars:
Lara Wendel

Greg Rhodes

Mary Sellers
Writers:
Sheila Goldberg
Cinthia McGavin
Director:
Umberto Lenzi
WRC Score:
2.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
June 14, 2013

A ham radio operator picks up a strange signal while listening to the airwaves.  He tracks it down, unaware its a prophetic signal from La casa fantasma, or the Ghosthouse.

The word that springs readily to mind when describing La casa fantasma is perfunctory.  Perfunctory direction, perfunctory acting, and perfunctory special effects.  All of which abetted by a scripted powered by pure stupid.

Really.  This can be such a stupid, stupid flick.

About the best you can say for it is that it’s coherent. Even there there are places where “The Hell…?!” springs readily to mind.

So La casa fantasma is a bad movie. No question, no argument, no doubt. (0.5 points).

Still, there’s something charming about its folly. I kinda love every idiotic moment of it (2 points).

Thus it’s confirmed: I have no taste.

As if by this time there was doubt…

Overall Score: 2.5 total points out of a possible 4

Virgin Witch

Date:
1972
Stars:
Ann Michelle

Vicki  Michelle

Keith Buckely
Writer:
Hazel Adair
Director:
Ray Austin
WRC Score:
0.5/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
March 2, 2013

Virgin Witch blows the lid off the late Sixties, early Seventies modeling scene. Two sisters head off for a modeling shoot only to find the whole affair a front for a coven of Witches led by a dirty old man and a lesbian.  Who is of course evil.  Because it’s the Seventies.

Oh, and that title?  Becomes quite inappropriate long before the one it refers to actually becomes a Witch.  For the record.

Anyway, it wasn’t until the reboot here that I realized how close this came was to Le lac des morts vivants.  You can’t begin to believe how happy it made me, a lonely Heterosexual man, to have to watch two flicks that made female nudity absolutely boring almost back to back.

No.  You can’t.  You really can’t.

It’s not like Virgin Witch has anything else going for it.  It’s a dull movie that substitutes attractive nude women for any type of suspense or characterization. Over and again.

Had the movie bothered to do more than a half-hearted effort towards Horror, it might have been a mediocre time killer. Or hey, maybe even something worth watching at all.  It didn’t. Nowhere near (0.5 points)

The more I think about this movie, the more I want it set on fire, covered with bees, and forced to listen to a single out of tune note repeatedly for the rest of time. Copies of this should be kept out of children’s hands for fear of stunting their growth. Any company that releases this flick on DVD or any other format should be duly embarrassed that they have done so.

If I haven’t been clear, I really don’t like this movie. If this was a TV murder mystery series, I’d either be the guy framed for its murder or the actually murderer who laughs maniacally over what he had done as the police drag him away (0 points).

And to think I could have watched a Uwe Boll movie instead.

What terrible choices we make.

Overall Score: 0.5 total points out of a possible 4

Il gatto nero

Opening Thoughts

Also Known As:

The Black Cat

Demons 6: De Profundis

Date:
1989
Stars:
Florence Guérin

Urbano Barberini

Caroline Munro
Writer:
Luigi Cozzi
Director:
Luigi Cozzi
WRC Score:
0.5/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 19, 2011

Two minutes, I knew Il gatto nero was a mess.  Not ten minutes into this movie and I wanted to watch something else. And worse?  The movie itself was giving suggestions as to what to seek out.  Such wonderful, wonderful suggestions.

But, as you’re reading this you know that I did indeed watch all of Il gatto nero. Watched it all and wrote a review for it.

I’d like to tell you this was due to some sense of duty.  Some need to warn the world.  Some inner strength that all great reviewers have.

This, though, would be a lie.  The only reason I finished this review is because I couldn’t find the movies I really wanted to watch.  Despite searching.

For hours.

And hours.

God damn it.

Amusingly, now that I’m rebooting my site, I can find the movies I wanted to watch quite easily.

Il gatto nero?  Not so much.

Big tears streaming down my face.

In any case, I hope that my extreme anguish is your great pleasure.  You sadists.  The review begins on the next page.

Paura nella città dei morti viventi

Opening Thoughts

Also Called:

City of the Living Dead

Gates of Hell

Date:
1980
Stars:
Christopher George

Catriona MacColl

Carlo De Mejo

Writer:
Lucio Fulci
Director:
Lucio Fulci
WRC Score:
3.5/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on March 19, 2011

Here we go, back into the world of Italian Horror.  Last time I had the pleasure (if I might sully the word pleasure) of witnessing The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Tomb, a film that makes you wish someone would gather up every last copy of it, set it on fire so that you might foul the ashes.  This time, it’s a work by the Gore-Hound’s best friend, Lucio Fulci, the guy who brought us zombies fighting sharks and women who scuba dive in the nude.

Classy pictures, don’t you know.[1.]

Paura nella città dei morti viventi was my first Fulci movie, and, frankly, my expectations were quite low.  That might explain the high marks I gave it.

2016-City of the Living Dead-Side Note-001Then again, there are quite a few stylish touches in the film and, after watching too many screaming dead teen movies beforehand it was nice to see someone who seemed to know what they were doing, horrorwise.

In any case, let’s go see what’s to see in a city of the living dead.

Il gatto nero

Also Known As:

The Black Cat

Demons 6: De Profundis

Date:
1989
Stars:
Florence Guérin

Urbano Barberini

Caroline Munro
Writer:
Luigi Cozzi
Director:
Luigi Cozzi
WRC Score:
0.5/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 19, 2011

My usual course of action here is to give a small spoiler free summary of the subject here in the opening paragraphs before moving on to the main review.  With Il gatto nero (which goes by so many more names that just The Black Cat) any summary I give you will give you the impression of a coherency this flick simply does.  Not.  Have.  The best I can do is call it a Horror “sequel” to Suspiria that’s about an attempt to make a “sequel” to Suspiria.  And not the actual sequel; that never gets mentioned.

Even without comparison to better works (which, for some reason, this flick repeatedly brings up) Il gatto nero would be a chore through. Bizarre cuts, bizarre plot, and bad acting, all the low points you expect from the very worst of Italian Horror. Il gatto nero is one awful movie (0 points), one  that I really didn’t like (.5 point).

Oh, and black cats have nothing to do with the plot. For the record.  Making us two for two in that regard.

You’ve been warned.

Overall Score: 0.5 total point out of a possible 4

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Paura nella città dei morti viventi

Also Called:

City of the Living Dead

Gates of Hell

Date:
1980
Stars:
Christopher George

Catriona MacColl

Carlo De Mejo

Writer:
Lucio Fulci
Director:
Lucio Fulci
WRC Score:
3.5/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on March 19, 2011

2016-link-box-002

Paura nella città dei morti viventi (also known as City of the Living Dead and Gates of Hell) begins with a psychic viewing the suicide of a priest.  But this isn’t an ordinary suicide.  In fact, unless something is done quick the world will die.

Loads of laffs around, eh?

City of the Living Dead wasn’t what I was expecting.

Oh, I knew about the gore, and with it being an Italian Horror flick there’d almost have to be several plot conveniences, characters who aren’t much more than cardboard, and moments that made no damn sense at all.  It comes with the subgenre, and this is no exception.

Nevertheless, City of the Living Dead brings the goods in terms of unease and horror.  It is a shining example of the best of Italian Horror.

I almost want to give it a great score, but there’s really too much wrong with the script for that.  We’ll settle on good (1.5 points).  I had a blast watching City of the Living Dead and probably would again some day (2 points).  I don’t quite dare recommend it, in part because all of this might be Cullen Likes and not actual good taste.  But if you can stomach Eighties style gore, you should find a worthy flick here.

Oh, one other thing.  If you’re queasy about maggots, avoid.

Maybe even run away.

You might wanna start now, in fact.

Overall Score: 3.5 total points out of a possible 4

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The Nightmare Never Ends

Opening Thoughts

Also Called:

Cataclysm

Satan’s Supper

Date:
1980
Stars:
Cameron Mitchell
Marc Lawrence
Faith Clift
Writer:
Phillip Yordan
Directors:
Phillip Marshak

Tom McGowan

Gregg C. Tallas
WRC Score:
1.5/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 29, 2009

This was my fifth official review, if I recall correctly. At the time I was struggling with how to format things (which of course never happens here any more ha ha ha thank God I hid the archives) and finding my “Voice” as it were.

Looking back that’s a lot of crap to have to sit through. Cathy’s Curse. The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. The Oasis of Zombies. With only Horror Express to get me through. A review which I botched, I should add.

It’s a wonder I’m still doing this.

Or that I’m sane at all.

Anyway.

My first encounter with The Nightmare Never Ends was long before I knew what the Internet was, back where there were these things called “Video Rental Stores”. Nowadays you can just jump onto YouTube or some such and watch “fine” “quality” “movies” like this one. Then you had to rent what was called tapes, and to decide what tapes to rent, you had to read the back of their boxes. Crazy, right?

This particular box gave a synopsis that covered the entire plot. Down to the ending.

Needless to say, I didn’t rent the movie. I mean, telling the whole story on the back? That reeked of desperation, is what that did.

Then, maybe twenty years later, I purchased a movie collection that just happened to have this film in it.

Still not sure how I feel about that.

On the next page we begin our look at The Nightmare Never Ends. Trust me. This will be far more entertaining than the actual film. At the very least, it’ll beat the hell out of reading the back of a box.

Jaws of Satan

Also Called:

King Cobra

Date:
1981
Stars:
Fritz Weaver
Gretchen Corbett
Jon Korkes
Writer:
Gerry Holland
Director:
Bob Claver
WRC Score:
2/4
Note: 
First posted in a different form on September 10, 2012

Opening Thoughts

Here’s the skinny.

I pick movies to cover at this site by whim and whim alone.  Sometimes because I’ve never seen it before, sometimes because I’ve loved it for years.  Sometimes because I heard the flick was good, sometimes because I heard it was God awful.  I’ve even done reviews because of bad promises I made in the past.

With Jaws of Satan I picked it out because I didn’t have any J titles in my index.

This?  This is a dumb idea.  I knew it was a dumb idea when I did it.  I’d picked out a B title not long before it and wasn’t so much burned by the act as chard to a cinder.  We’ll talk about it another time.

In the case of Jaws of Satan, I’d already seen it in my far distant youth.  Seemed to like it, actually, though I couldn’t recall a detail.  Which, as we will see in the pages ahead, is a telling detail to say the least.

Shall we continue to the next page?

The Nightmare Never Ends

Also Called:

Cataclysm

Satan’s Supper

Date:
1980
Stars:
Cameron Mitchell
Marc Lawrence
Faith Clift
Writer:
Phillip Yordan
Directors:
Phillip Marshak

Tom McGowan

Gregg C. Tallas
WRC Score:
1.5/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 29, 2009

2016-link box-001

The Nightmare Never Ends (also known as Cataclysm and Satan’s Supper) tells the story of a woman who dreams of devils, a cop on the trail of an immortal Nazi, and an author who has the worst kind of fan.  All three are trapped in the same endless nightmare: that of being characters in a really bad movie.

So how is it bad?  How about a incoherent plot?  Bad acting?  Three directors without a script between them?  And the special effects!  Yeah. (.5 points)

This doesn’t  mean The Nightmare Never Ends has no charms, at least for the Bad Movie loving set.  For me, some poor story choices towards the end turned things sour for me.

On first reviewing this film almost seven years ago (my God how time flies) I disliked it, even going so far as stamping it with a NOT RECOMMENDED.  Since then I look back on it with a certain… not fondness but no real dislike, either.  Other films really stick with me far more than this one.  Thus I’m changing it to a more of a meh (1 point).

Of course, I could always finish rewatching the film.  Come at it from a new perspective.  But that would mean actually rewatching rest of the film and I really.

Don’t.

Wanna.

Take that into consideration, too, when thinking about watching this film.

Total: 1.5 points out of a total of 4.

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Jaws of Satan

Also Called:

King Cobra

Date:
1981
Stars:
Fritz Weaver
Gretchen Corbett
Jon Korkes
Writer:
Gerry Holland
Director:
Bob Claver
WRC Score:
2/4
Note: 
First posted in a different form on September 10, 2012

2016-link-box-002

It came to past that Satan, the very devil himself, decided to claim the soul of a troubled small town priest.  And so, in order to do so, he took the form of a cobra and rode into town in the baggage car of a train.  Verily it ’twas so and not completely silly at all.

Jaws of Satan 1:1-3

Such effort for something only I’ll find funny.

Anyway.

Where it not for a prominent nude picture in an early scene, Jaws of Satan could have been any one of dozens of made-for-TV movies. Which is damning a hell of a lot of quality TV, but that’s what this movie feels like. A TV show or movie.

It’s not scary, it’s not challenging, and on top of it all it isn’t very original, either.  Its depiction of Satan is questionable at best, as is some of the F/X.  The kindest you can be about the script is that it could have been worse.  Something I say about a lot of films, but still.

That said, nothing about Jaws of Satan reeks of awful. The actors do their job competently and as I try to speak truthfully about these sort of things, I enjoyed watching it despite it’s flaws.  That alone means it did it’s job.  Just not well.

So what’s the score, right?  Well, we’re going with mediocre. (1 point). The first time I reviewed this flick I called it forgettable, but sitting here rewriting it I seem to bring back quite a bit of it.  The trouble is, I just don’t care (1 point).

Let’s make Jaws of Satan as a time killer. No more, no less, and no worse for being so.  Just disappointing, after a fashion.

Overall Score: 2 total point out of a possible 4

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Cauchemares

Opening Thoughts

Also Called:
Cathy’s Curse
Date:
1977
Stars:
Alan Scarfe

Beverely Murray

Randi Allen
Writers:
Myra Clêment

Eddy Malton

Alain Sens-Cazenave
Director:
Eddy Matalon
WRC Score:
2.5/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 18, 2013.

On the subject of Cauchemares I have very little to say.  Which is an odd thing to say at the start of a long-winded coverage of a flick.  Allow me to explain.

What I know about this movie amounts to very little.  One of many Canadian film that came out of the Seventies, it came and went from the theaters back in 1977.  It might have been a tax write off.  It might have been a lot of things.

Beyond that, its history is a mystery to me.

Coming at it from a personal angle finds me in a similar bind. About the only thing I can say is that this was the first movie I picked for this site, back in June 29, 2009.  No reason for it.  Just looked interesting.  Or, at least, interesting enough to watch.

A reason that has proven time and again in this blog’s life as about the worst one possible to watch any film.

As implied above, this meat of this coverage of Cauchemares, comes from my second and in all likelihood last viewing.  The first part covers my viewing experience and synopsize the film.  The second gives whatever meager thoughts the film inspires.  It might be an odd way of doing this, but it works for me.  Hopefully it will work for you.

Odds are great what follows on the next page will be the most fun you’ll ever have with this particular flick…

Cauchemares

Also Called:
Cathy’s Curse
Date:
1977
Stars:
Alan Scarfe

Beverely Murray

Randi Allen
Writers:
Myra Clêment

Eddy Malton

Alain Sens-Cazenave
Director:
Eddy Matalon
WRC Score:
2.5/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 18, 2013.2016-link box-001

Cauchemares (also known as Cathy’s Curse) is the story about a man who learns the truth about the old adage “You can never go home again.”  Mainly that if you do, you risk having your only child possessed by the murderous ghost of your elder sibling.

Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

This isn’t by any stretch of the imagination an original flick.  It takes from better possession films and leaves very little in return, if anything at all.  Most views would most likely drop it into the “Pass” file and move cheerfully along with their lives.

Not me, however. For some reason I’ve decided to review it twice.

And now three times.  Because I’m that way.  Apparently.

That said, I must confess that the first time I watched Cauchemares I went away charmed with the flick.  Why escapes me, but whatever the reason it wasn’t enough to watch it again for fun.  Just enough to confess to liking it when the opportunity arose.  Which was far more often than one might have thought.

Watching it a second time, however, I noticed the poor acting more, the lack of verve in the direction, and other flaws.  Not that these escaped my attention the first time, I hasten to add.  They just stuck out more.  Like some one jabbed the pins in a little deeper.

While this made it a chore to sit through at times, some of that first fondness did return.  Right at the end.  Where it did as little good as possible.

As I did say this was the third review, you might expect me to mention how that run went, but ha ha on you, I didn’t watch it a third time, I just rewrote the second review.

I’ve always been a disappointment to those who know me.  Why should I stop now?

I don’t ever intend to watch Cauchemares again.  That might be telling and it might not.  Score wise, I think Cauchemares/Cathy’s Curse is a mediocre film, albeit one on the very cusp of being bad (1 point).  Likewise I still have fond memories of the film despite the second viewing spoiling them (1.5 points).  I see enough wrong with it, though, that I feel a Not Recommended is in order.

Score: 2.5 points out of a possible 4 (-_-) p

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