Monthly Archives: October 2012

Day #24: Warlock (1989)

Plot: A 17th century witch-hunter time travels to present day while tracking a Warlock who’s hell-bent on destroying the world.

I wouldn’t even call this a horror film.  It’s more of a buddy movie that pairs a 17th century witch-hunter with a 20th century female as they join forces to stop an evil Warlock.  I thought this movie was a lot of fun.  The adventure starts in California and spans cross-country, eventually culminating in the city of Boston.  The journey facilitates several encounters with witchcraft, not to mention some awesome interactions between our heroine and her 17th century counterparts.  I must note that some of the visual effects were God-awful.  Shots of the Warlock flying around looked flat-out terrible.  However, if you can forgive a couple of crappy effects and view this movie through the lens of adventure instead of horror, I think you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Day #23: Brain Damage (1988)

Plot:  After escaping the care of an elderly couple, a talking parasite named Aylmer attaches itself to a young man’s brainstem and begins bartering a euphoric drug in exchange for human brains.

Brain Damage follows a talking parasite (Aylmer) as it attaches itself to the brainstem of a young man named Brain.  After delivering a powerful drug directly into Brain’s brain, Aylmer is able to control him.  Since Aylmer feeds on brains, he begins using Brian as a vessel to hunt for food.  Brian eventually becomes aware of Aylmer’s actions, but his addiction to the parasite’s drug is too strong to overcome.  Only time will tell if Brian can break free from Aylmer’s murderous grip…

Brain Damage is fun at times and silly at others.  There are some ridiculous deaths (one during a blowjob) along with some hilarious dialogue (the phallic shaped parasite yelling, “You know you need my juice!”).  Still, the movie feels more like a forcefully stretched Tales From The Crypt episode than a feature film.  Brain Damage has some memorable scenes but doesn’t quite hit the mark.  Again, this is another 80’s horror film I could see benefitting from a remake, especially if leaned more towards its comedic side.

Day #22: Dead & Buried (1981)

Plot: An overqualified detective investigates a string of unusual murders in the sleepy town of Potters Bluff, Rhode Island.

Dead & Buried opens on a photographer who is unexpectedly and brutally murdered .  When the town’s lead detective begins investigating the murder, he is bombarded with clues that don’t make sense.  During his investigation, unsolved homicides continue to pile up.  However, the deeper the detective digs, the bigger his questions become.  The movie takes an unpredictable turn when the previously murdered photographer reappears as a townsperson in seemingly perfect health.  Is this man a mere look-alike, or could he be a member of the living dead?

Dead & Buried is a solid flick that suffers from age.  There’s lots of cool ideas and ominous atmospheres, but it never really gels as I hoped it would.  Overall, I found Dead & Buried to be enjoyable, but this is an 80’s horror film I could definitely see benefiting from a remake.

Day #21: Absentia (2011)

Plot: After her husband reappears following a seven-year absence, a pregnant woman and her sister begin investigating mysterious disappearances occurring around town.

Absentia almost feels like a prematurely born genius.  Even underdeveloped it’s still pretty good, but did it miss an opportunity to be great?  The relationship between the two sisters is believable and the atmosphere can be quite tense.  The acting of the lead cop?  Not so good.  This movie is laced with traces of the supernatural.  While many horror films can suffer from showing too much, I feel Absentia suffers from showing too little.  Instead of being creeped out by the unknown, I found myself hungering for explanation.  I’m sure a lack of budget had something to do with this.  Absentia is a movie that makes the most out of the least. While it’s weak in some areas, it’s fairly strong in others.  I feel like a lot of potential was left on the table, but it’s an interesting watch nonetheless.

Day #20: Dolls (1987)

Plot: After taking shelter in a desolate mansion, several people are terrorized by a collection of living dolls. 

Dolls is like Puppet Master but without the cool characters.  It follows a bunch of unlikable individuals as they take shelter in a mansion filled with killer dolls.  The effects are weak and the acting is terrible.  Not a total piece of shit, but close.

Day #19: Maniac (1980)

Plot: A homicidal maniac kills and scalps young women in New York City.

I could see this movie causing quite the stir in 1980.  There’s tons of violence and deviant behavior.  The killer even scalps his victims, placing their freshly skinned heads on a mannequin he pretends is his mother.  Lots of weird shit.  Didn’t really love this one.  It’s pretty dated and kind of boring.  After each murder the killer goes home, places the scalp on a mannequin, and mumbles insane thoughts to himself.  Murder, mumble, murder, mumble, murder, mumble.  This pattern repeats itself over and over until the movie finally ends.  I did enjoy the main character—he had a legitimately creepy vibe.  Still, I can’t recommend this.  It’s thirty-two years old and definitely shows it.  I noticed they recently remade this with Elijah Wood, so feel free to check it out if you find the plot intriguing.  As far as this version is concerned, feel free to skip it.

Day #18: Night of the Creeps (1986)

Plot:  College students must fend off alien parasites that turn their hosts into the walking dead.

There are zombies, and aliens, and serial killers, and flamethrowers, and nudity, and exploding heads, and egg-laying brain parasites, and much, much more.  It’s not awesomely serious, but it is seriously awesome.  Night of the Creeps is as fun as horror gets.

Day #17: Pulse (2006)

Plot: After discovering a strange frequency, a hacker accidentally opens a portal to malicious forces.

I don’t know why, but ever since seeing the trailer for Pulse I’ve had an inexplicable desire to give it a watch.  It only took me six years, but I wish I waited longer.  It’s bad.  Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.  Stay away.