Dreams and nightmares are the fuel of most good horrors and thrillers. From antiquity to the modern novel and all the way through to cinema and videogames, it is a fertile ground to launch any kind of journey of uncertainty. In The Initiation, a dream is all main character Kelly Fairchild has to go on. Too bad someone is stalking her at the same time. Trailer (NSFW) and review after the jump.
I’m not sure what the point of the Swinging Cheerleaders is but I’m pretty sure it’s got something to do with the main character Kate learning to like being in an oppressive patriarchy and her new football jock beau, Buck, learning to not treat women like dirt. Oh, and there’s cheerleading going on in between. Review and trailer after the break.
Have you ever wanted a slasher movie where the drama is more important than the kills? Some nubile young people, a murdering nutter, a batpoop insane curse, hammy acting and more combine to make up the crazy Satan’s Blade, a film that prides itself with withholding just the twist and only the twist. Trailer and review after the break.
If nothing else, Return of the Killer Tomatoes is proof that you don’t need to see an obscure film in order to get sucked into its sequel. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a weird, funny film but when its first sequel came out in 1988, few people would have remembered instantly the first movie. And why would you when you have George Clooney as a sidekick, the gorgeous Karen Mistal as Tara and John Astin hamming it up as the evil and insane Prof. Gangreen? Trailer and review after the break.
Emilio Miraglia is an Italian director who was most active in the 1970’s. He directed around six features (though he could have worked uncredited in more) and then vanished from the scene (literally). While he directed different genres, he’s most famous for two features: The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (La notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba) and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (La dama rossa uccide sette volte). Trailers (NSFW!) and more after the break.
I suppose I should start by saying that I love Pam Grier in every film she’s in. There’s something about the way she looks, smiles and threatens and then carries out threats to shoot people. You can see her working everything out beforehand. But the films she does are not always as good. Case in point, Sheba, Baby.
I love watching Italian Giallo films and after a few false starts, I got stuck into a proper Giallo film by a man who pretty much invented or helped to invent the genre as we know it today. Deep Red is a classic murder mystery with lashings of blood, violence and non-sequitur characters that lead you down one path and back up others told by a filmmaker who, at least in this project, knows exactly what he’s doing.
Lucio Fulci has many films to his credit that exemplify his talents as one of Italy’s foremost horror directors. Zombie Flesh Eaters, City of the Living Dead and The Beyond to name a few and those were his most celebrated but he had a career spanning three decades. A lot of his projects were deliberate choices, creative endeavours so The Black Cat might seem an odd choice for Fulci but between his directing style and the way the film turned out, I think it’s one of Fulci’s better films.
One of the early 80’s slashers, Madman is soaked in the myth of the evil that lurks just beyond the treeline. A group of camp counselors are packing up the kids in their charge for the end of the summer and responsible adult Max tells one more ghost story at the campfire. But in true form, the tale they tell is real. Madman Marz killed his family, was lynched by the townspeople and then escaped into the woods around his house. He’s not been seen since but if you say his name above a whisper, he’ll get you. They do. He does.
As I trawl through the Italian films of the 80’s, I’m reminded that when I was talking at one point to Oli (late of the Welcome to the Brain Palace podcast) about Italian giallo and zombie horror flicks, he kept saying two names: Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi. I’ve not seen Bava’s works yet but I just watched my first Lenzi film. A total mess of a film, it’s so bad it’s good and more than makes up for its problems by not caring about them. Nightmare City, a film about zombies that drink blood but shush, Lenzi doesn’t like you calling them zombies, dammit!