Monday, October 20, 2014

Prom Night


It's the most important night of the school year - senior prom is officially here! That magical night where girls get gussied up, guys break out their best dance moves - and flasks, drugs are tried, virginities are lost, young love sparks, and hearts are broken. Truly a night to remember! And the students at the local high school are in a tizzy. Especially Kim (Jamie Lee Curtis) who has been crowned Prom Queen and will be gracing the stage alongside her beloved boyfriend, and Prom King, Nick (Casey Stevens). And while tonight is shaping up to be a night no one will forget, someone plans on making this night memorable for very different reasons.

So excited for prom! Yay!!

On this night 6 years ago there was a terrible accident. Kim's little sister Robin was found dead at the sight of an abandoned convent. But what looked like the grisly work of a murderer was actually the result of an innocent game gone wrong. Robin had been playing with her friends Nick, Wendy, Jude, and Kelly when they started relentlessly teasing her causing Robin to back away and fall to her death from the second story window! Instead of going to the police, the kids all swore that they would never tell anyone what had happened even though it was an accident. And for all those years Kelly (Mary Beth Rubens), Jude (Joy Thompson), Wendy (Eddie Benton), and Nick have kept their secret. And to wrap the entire case up with a neat little bow, the police found a convicted rapist that they could pin Robin's murder on. Case closed! But not really...

Someone doesn't want little Robin to be forgotten. 

Even though all these years have gone by, Kim, her mother (Antoinette Bower), her father and high school principal (Leslie Nielsen), and little brother Alex (Michael Tough) all struggle when the fateful anniversary of Robin's untimely death comes around. But because it's prom night everyone wants to buck up and have a good time! But someone isn't too happy with this attitude. It all starts in the morning when Nick, Jude, Wendy, and Kelly all receive creepy phone calls from someone with a raspy voice right before school. Mirrors are shattered in the girls locker rooms, things go missing or get broken during prom rehearsal...but the true terror doesn't begin until the doors open for the dance. As soon as the disco ball drops and the funky fresh beats fill the gym, a masked killer starts going after all the teens that were involved in little Robin's murder! Who is this masked killer? And can they be stopped before prom night is ruined?

Watch out kids! He's gonna get ya!

This movie was so much fun! While it is a little slow paced at times, I can never say anything bad about an 80s slasher movie. The pacing of this movie actually reminded me a lot of Dario Argento's movie Deep Red - how we see little snippets of things that allude to the killer but not enough to give us clues. And while all the creepy murder stuff doesn't happen until the end, I think what kept me so engaged up until then was this ridiculous disco-themed prom and how excited the kids were for it! I mean, disco is fine and all but watching this hip teens doing these funky rehearsed dances and really getting into the beats with all the flashing lights and the blinking dance floor... it's almost too much! I'm sure this was a great and chilling horror movie for its time but it hasn't aged well - now it's a much better horror-comedy than just plain horror movie. However, I don't know if the same can be said for the 2008 remake. Maybe I'll be looking into that one in the near future too! Until then, Prom Night is fun for a laugh and some light-hearted scares. But don't be expecting anything daring.

It's not the best, but it's good for a laugh!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Others


Okay. Confession time: I only chose this movie because the only other 'O' movie that came to mind was Oculus and the trailer looked horrible. I remember seeing the end of this movie several times many years ago, so obviously the big twist ending has been spoiled for me. I don't really know why I was so resistant against watching this movie - maybe it's Nicole Kidman, she makes me really uncomfortable. But I finally feel like My ABCs of Horror has turned around - this movie was amazingly chilling and exactly what I needed to boost my faith in this venture!

Rigid mother Grace (Nicole Kidman) has recently taken on a new staff to help take care of her large English home at the end of World War II. Mr. Tuttle (Eric Sykes) has been hired on to take care of the garden and landscaping while mute Lydia (Elaine Cassidy) is set to work in the kitchens and attend the housekeeping, and finally there is Mrs. Mills (Fionnula Flanagan) who will be taking care of Grace's two young children. But taking care of little Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley) is not going to be as simple as fixing them toast for breakfast and guiding them in their bible studies.

Grace and her children have special rules they live by. 

Anne and Nicholas have a painful condition that doesn't allow them to go into sunlight, if the sun touches their skin they break out in horrible blisters and burns. Because of this, every single door in the house - of which there are 50 - are all locked and shut. No door can be opened without the others around it being shut and locked, all the curtains in the house are drawn, and the only light to ever be used in the house are dimly lit oil lamps. Anne and Nicholas are never allowed to leave the house to play or go into town or attend church. Grace gives them afternoon lessons and then the children are allowed to play on their own while Grace works on her embroidery and waits for her husband Charles to come home from the war. This their life and their home is run like a tight ship. But then weird things start happening.

"Did you hear that?"

Anne confides to her brother that she has seen a boy named Victor in their house, that he is responsible for opening curtains in their bedroom in the middle of the night and making loud running noises throughout their house. Anne has always been prone to mischief and Nicholas tries to brush her off...but she takes it too far one night and Nicholas hears her doing two separate voices to make it sound like Victor is in their bedroom. Nicholas screams for his mother and she punishes Anne for being so cruel to the little boy. But while Anne is forced to read the bible while standing in the foyer, Grace hears loud stamping noises from upstairs in the house. But when she investigates she doesn't find anybody...but she hears voices! Who is in her house?!

How does she fix this? 

Grace calls a meeting among the staff and orders that they search every room in the house for these intruders. Every curtain is pulled aside, every door is thrown open, no corner of the house is left unturned...and yet there are still voices and still there are running sounds. Grace is terrified, there could be some kind of evil spirit in her home! She orders Mr. Tuttle to search the grounds for gravestones and tries to go to town to bring home the priest to bless her home...but gets lost in the fog. Something frightening is happening in Grace's house and she has no idea how to fix it. But what's worse still is that Mrs. Mills and the rest of the staff know exactly what is happening, and when they decide to tell Grace the truth...there is a chance she may not be able to handle it.

What secret are they hiding? 

I really loved this movie and the twist at the end is so iconic! Even though I already knew it was coming, I absolutely loved the journey getting there! This is the type of horror movie I love because it doesn't use actual ghouls and ghosts to freak out the audience, it uses noises and makes us use our imaginations. And it's loud too so you don't miss a whisper. This entire movie gets under your skin and keeps you hyper aware of everything happening in this big enormous house - if you love horror movies that focus on hauntings with INSANE twist endings I highly recommend this movie. This is a modern day classic.

I am so thankful I decided to re watch this movie! It's a horror classic!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Nightmare Detective


N is for Nightmare Detective and I feel like I have bee misled! A while back I found a list of 20 foreign horror movies that pack a major impact but no one has heard of - I should have already known that this list was bogus because I have seen The Tunnel and Let the Right One In which were both featured. Nightmare Detective was also on the list, and me being a sucker for terrifying Japanese horror I wrote down the entire list in one of my journals to reference later. And then during a movie haul earlier this year I found a copy of Nightmare Detective! I was pretty excited! But now that I've seen this movie, I really wish I had disregarded the entire list. I'm disappointed.

Suicides are not an uncommon thing that many police investigators come across when called to investigate possible homicides, but something weird has been going on with these last few cases that Detective Keiko Kirishima has been sent to check out. Keiko (Hitomi) has worked behind a desk for a huge majority of her career but has been anxious to get her hands dirty in the field...well what better way to do that then closing the case on several suicides! But Keiko starts to notice something fishy. Like that the last phone call to be made by all of the victims on their cellphones was to someone saved in their cell phones as "O". Who is this "O"? And could it be possible that these weren't suicides, but really homicides?

Homicide or suicide? 

Trying to gather more clues about these suicides, Keiko looks to the stab wounds. Each victim is found with a large carving knife in their hand and huge gashes all over their bodies - the only thing that sets one of these suicides apart from the others is that one man's wife witnessed him slashing at himself with the knife. She called to him, trying to stop her husband,,,but he seemed to be in a trance. Could these suicides have happened under the influence of hypnosis? Well there would be no way to find out for sure...unless Keiko had a nightmare detective to call! Which she does!

Hunky Kyoichi is the man Keiko is looking for!

Kyoichi Kagenuma (Rhyhei Matsuda) is a detective with a very special gift, he has the ability to enter into other people's dreams. His services have been used by families who want to bring their loved ones back from comas, but this ability of his is very traumatic and can cause physical harm to Kyoichi himself. When Keiko first approaches him to help with their investigation, Kyoichi is appalled! Keiko wants to contact this mysterious "O", and if she ends up being lured into a hypnotic state then Kyoichi can follow her and pull her out of her dreamlike state before she kills herself! But what if Kyoichi fails? What if Kyoichi gets hurt? And what if this "O" manages to follow them outside of Keiko's dreams? These are all risks that Keiko is willing to take in order to crack this case...even if it means going too far.

Going back to real life after being stuck in your nightmares with 
a killer? Yeah, that's not going to happen. 

I feel like this movie could have been really cool and just fell so short! I was expecting some nightmarish hell-fest filled with terrifying creatures or people's bodies twisted in horrible ways...and instead we get this. This sulky/semi-hunk detective that can drift in and out of people's dreams, people dreaming about committing suicide..really the only thing that got kind of freaky in this movie was the intense ending, and the parts in the beginning when this slippery/floppy/unseen thing rushes it's victims and slashes at them. But otherwise this movie is super dull! I don't recommend it at all. Man, here I am just over halfway through with My ABCs of Horror and I've experienced some real stinkers so far! At least I know that tomorrow's movie The Others is going to be good - maybe it'll be all good horror from here? Keep your fingers crossed for me!

It's not great. I'm not going to lie to you. Rent something else. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Mist


M is for The Mist! I didn't know what to expect with this movie. I am a huge fan of Stephen King's work and think he's a pretty brilliant storyteller, and I really love many of the movies that have been based off of his work like Cujo and IT. And I really love the story The Mist - it was very creepy and I remember that I just couldn't stop reading it! But a short story being transformed into a full-length movie had me a little nervous. And once more, I had no reason to be hesitant or worried. This movie was brilliant, amazing, and had incredible depth!

Another wind storm has hit the coast of Maine yet again, and the town has been left in shambles. And for David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his family, they are facing a major clean up. A movie poster artist, the big picture window in David's studio was smashed by a large tree branch and the rest of the yard is coated in downed trees and trash. But the biggest damage was done to the boat house, which has been smooshed by the neighbor's tree. With the threat of another big storm on the horizon, David loads up his truck with his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) and their neighbor Mr. Norton (Andre Braugher) and they head into town to get supplies from the grocery store.

Another storm, another panic, just another day in the life. 

Once at the store, David finds it to be in complete bedlam. Shelves are quickly being emptied of canned goods and lighters and cases of water; and the shoppers are running around in a flurry trying to get home quickly to mend their homes. But while in the midst of going through his grocery list, a man comes screaming into the grocery store with blood rushing down his face! The man loudly begs everyone in the store not to go outside, that there's some kind of monster out there hiding in the mist, and that it killed his friend! People panic, and several run to the front of the store where they find a wall of thick mist rush toward the doors. The store employees shut all the doors and all eyes are trained on the front of the store. The mist is so thick they can't even see the cars parked mere feet from the entrance! Do they dare go out?

It's harmless right? Or is it poisonous? 

Unsure of what to do, some people think that it's just a really thick fog and that it's harmless. Other people are terrified of what might be out there - but how will they know what's out there unless they check? But then the proof comes. While looking for blankets in the loading dock of the store, David hears a strange banging sound against the sliding metal door...and it bows inward. Almost like something is trying to get inside! David brings a small group of men into the back to try and show them what he's talking about...but they laugh at him and instead try to get busy fixing the store generator. But when they open the loading dock door to go outside and check the exhaust vent - something gets in! Several long, thick tentacles come snaking into the room and latch onto the young bag boy. The tentacles sprout claws and strip huge chunks of flesh from the boy's body before dragging him outside into the mist! But not before David goes after the tentacles with an ax and chops off the end of one.

And with that, he's gone!

Terrified, David and the men aren't sure what to do. Not only did their disregard for David's warnings get that poor boy killed, but now they know that there is definitely something outside the store and they can't let anyone leave. David and the group calmly explain to the people in the store that there are obvious dangers outside and that no one should leave, and the few skeptics that think they're joking are taken into the back of the store and shown the chunk of tentacle laying on the concrete floor. Half of the patrons in the store follow David's instructions and start reinforcing the plate glass front of the store with large bags of dog food and finding any weapons they can to defend themselves. But then there are the other patrons of the store. Led by the crazy-religious town weirdo Mrs. Carmody (Marica Gay Harden) the others believe that this mist was brought on them by the wrath of God, that they are being punished and that God is demanding a blood sacrifice. Can David and the sane people of the store defend themselves from the monsters outside and the weirdos inside the store long enough for help to arrive...if help will arrive at all?

Is leaving the store worth facing the terrors hidden in the mist? 

This movie was an amazing feat of imagination and emotional turmoil! At first I didn't like Thomas Jane's casting in this movie because I personally feel like he's not a really strong actor...but watching him struggle to be the leader these people need him to be is so realistic that I feel like I've judged him too early. And the ending of this movie...wow. I didn't expect it to be so much of an emotional roller coaster, but it was fantastic! There's severe emotional trauma in this movie, great suspense, plus the fun unknown factor that comes with most sci-fi/horror movies. And the creatures in this movie are amazing!! So creative, and totally Stephen King-esque - and these creatures inflict serious gory damage which is so much fun to watch! This is a mega fun creepy crawly horror movie that fans of Stephen King's work will love. Brilliant!

An amazing vision of Stephan King's story - terror perfection!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cheerleader Camp


Taking a short break from My ABCs of Horror to bring you this very special cheese ball of a movie! I am convinced that anything to do with the 1980s as far as movies go, is sheer perfection! I love the comedy, I love the romance, I love the action, but more than anything I LOVE the horror! I love the over-the-top gore, I love the slasher villains and gnarly beasts, I love the cliches and lame one-liners - basically if it was made in the 80s I want to see it. Before watching this movie, I had never heard of Cheerleader Camp. I was snooping around on Youtube for some horror movie titles when I found this one and got way too excited when I saw that it was made in 1988 - I knew I had to see it! And it's cheesy, oh baby! Is this ever cheesy!

Cheerleader Alison (Betsey Russell) and the rest of her Lindo Valley High School cheerleader squad are heading to Camp Hurrah - a week-long cheer leading camp and the gang could not be more excited! Alison's slutty friends are excited to show off their snazzy outfits and sexy moves, while Alison's boyfriend Brent (Leif Garrett) is excited to show off to the ladies and Brent's fat friend Timmy (Travis McKenna) is hoping to get laid...or record some naughty locker room material on his video camera for his spank bank material. Yuck. But Alison doesn't share the same enthusiasm as the rest of the cheerleaders, she's plagued by horrible nightmares and feelings that her boyfriend is cheating on her. And while some would see these as just typical teen insecurities, Alison soon has reason to worry. 

Ready for some summer fun? Well, you better look for it somewhere else.

Looking for a fellow camper, Alison walks into a cabin to discover a fellow cheerleader sprawled out dead on a bed! Yikes! Definitely a big downer for a place like Camp Hurrah, but the head counselor Miss Tipton just tries to smooth things over - sure, the girl is dead but cheer leading competitions must go on! But after this girl is found dead things start to get really...weird. And freakishly coincidental. Sick of her continuous self doubt, Brent decides to go off with a vivacious cheerleader in their squad and suck face. Alison is so mad, her anger even carries over into her fitful nightmares, and tonight she dreams that she murdered her cheating boyfriend's new squeeze. And then the night of the big Cheer Off, the slut turns up dead! Uh oh. But not everyone finds out this horrible news at once. 

Dead in the woods!

Like most teen-filled parties in the countryside, some people sneak off to do their own things. One girl goes off to look for the missing slut, Alison and Brent try to make up but it's clear that there's no trust left, and Timmy's doing everything he can at the post-Cheer Off party to get laid. The more people that go missing from the party, the more worried some of the cheerleaders get - can you blame them? One of the girls was found dead in her cabin less than 48 hours ago! And that's when the bodies start piling up. First there's Brent's slut, then Miss Tipton, and then Timmy's bloody body turns up too! Someone is going around killing all these people at Camp Hurrah, and they need to be stopped!

Another one down for the count, who's next? 

This movie, out of all honesty, was much better than I originally anticipated. I was all set for a cheesy but predictable slasher movie and instead was met with a pretty funny teen romp with great gore! Featuring classic slasher elements you'd see in the Friday the 13th movies mixed with psychological dream scape stuff from A Nightmare on Elm Street, and cheesy 80s antics - this entire movie was hilarious fun! And I was not prepared for the twist ending, such a shock! If you love cheesy slasher movies this is a prime movie for you.

THURSDAY NIGHT IS THE BEST NIGHT TO TUNE IN TO REAL PUNK RADIO!! Home to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit, Real Punk Radio is your Thursday night destination for the best in Psychobilly radio programming. Starting tonight at 6pm PT Gone Mental will be kicking off the evening, and then at 7pm PT Zorch Radio takes over the reigns and rides out the evening til 10pm with the best in Psychotronic rock n' roll. Make sure to tune in to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit tonight, where I will be talking about my experience with Cheerleader Camp during the Trash-Tastic Minute on Zorch Radio. So make sure to tune in to Real Punk Radio tonight!

Radio done right only on Real Punk Radio!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lake Placid


Paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda) is far from pleased about being sent to Maine. Still reeling from finding out that her husband is having an affair with one of her co-workers, Kelly is being sent to investigate a peculiar death that took place at a secluded lake. A fish and game officer was accompanied by Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson) onto Black Lake  to do some routine investigation on a local beaver dam when the officer is viciously attacked by some unknown creature that BITES HIM IN HALF! A tooth sample was found in the remains of the officer's body, and when sent to Kelly's museum she discovered that it was indeed reptile...and possibly prehistoric. And with that, she is shipped off to the untamed wilderness of Black Lake, Maine.

Not too enthralled with the idea of being in nature or camping, Kelly instantly butts heads with fish and game officer Jack Wells (Bill Pullman) who seems to think they have a bear on their hands and that it's just a matter of trapping and relocating the animal. Also accompanied by Sheriff Hank and several other local law enforcement officers, the team heads out into the woods to set up camp and begin scouting.  And it quickly becomes clear that there is something attacking people...but it's definitely no bear.

A bear bit a man in half in a lake? Suuuure...

After a mysterious flipping of one of the scouting canoes and having a speedboat dragged through the lake by the anchor line, it's clear that whatever is causing these mysterious attacks is coming from the water. And this is when eccentric, rich weirdo Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt) decides to join in with the search party. Hector travels the world to see and swim with some of the most dangerous animals known to man: crocodiles, and he believes that there is a crocodile in this lake causing the attacks. Everyone laughs at the crazy guy setting traps and flying over the lake with his helicopter and fancy radar equipment...but then they come to learn the truth. When Kelly, Sheriff Hank, Hector and Jack are cornered near the water by a large brown bear, a 30 foot crocodile leaps from the water and drags the bear in with him! Holy crap! Not only is it a crocodile, IT'S A HUGE CROCODILE! And now the hunt is on - they need to find this beast and get it out of the lake. But how did this crocodile come to be in the lake in the first place? And what will they do with it once they capture it?

A monster croc that attacks helicopters? Yeah, capturing that
should be NO problem at all!

This is a movie from my childhood that I have been aching to watch for a really long time now. Alongside Deep Blue Sea, this was a movie that my little sister and I would sneakily watch on HBO growing up. But unlike Deep Blue Sea, this movie didn't scare me  - I felt more fascinated, like I was watching Jurassic Park. And revisiting this movie has made me find that it never lost its magic! It's got excellent jump moments, decent CGI, a killer animatronic crocodile, and fun amounts of sarcastic humor - this movie is a total win! If you love creature feature horror movies with comedic quips I would definitely recommend this movie! So much fun! But now I'm curious about the 3 sequels that came afterwards - anyone seen them? And are they worth my going out and renting them?

Are any of these movies worth it? I'm so curious!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kill Theory


K is for Kill Theory, and scraping at the bottom of the horror movie barrel! Aside from Killer Klowns From Outer Space, I seriously could not think of a single horror movie that started with the letter K! I only happened upon this movie when I finally Googled "Horror movies starting with K" and I was really wary about this one. Is this really a horror movie or some kind of psychological thriller masquerading as a horror movie, kind of like The Seasoning House? Well, once more I got lucky because this movie was a fun watch!

On the verge of graduating from college, seven friends are more than ready to get their celebration on! The rich kid of the gang decides that the only way to celebrate in style is for everyone to load up into a van and drive up to his family's lavish lake house for a weekend of drunken fun on the water! Loaded down with beers, and gorgeous girls the gang heads out into the wilderness ready to let loose! But then a bit of a kink gets thrown into their plans.

Put it back in your pants kids, we've got problems!

Settled in for the night, the guys and girls are all bedded in for the night when there's a crash and hysterical screaming from downstairs. One of the girls who was set to sleep on the porch has had her throat slit and her corpse thrown through the glass windows! Who did this? What happened? And then everyone notices the video camera plugged into the TV. Turning it on, the recording shows that that some unseen man is forcing the girl to shot her boyfriend in the head while he slept. The girl tries to turn the gun on the unseen man and has her throat slit. And then the man speaks.

She may have saved her boyfriend, but it ended up killing her.

Still without showing his face, the man reveals that he was involved in a disturbing accident. While mountain climbing with three of his best friends, the rope started to fray and this unseen man was closest to the top...and so he made the decision to cut is three friends loose to save himself. This unseen man is convinced that all people have the instincts of a killer inside of them, they only need to be brought to the surface. So this man is going to conduct an experiment. As of right now, the college kids are all being watched and ordered to commit murder. In 3 hours, at 6am, only one person is allowed to be left alive for them to walk away freely. If more than one person is still alive then everyone dies. And time starts now.

At first no one knows what to do. How can this be? This house is too big for this guy to have all the windows and doors monitored! Plus they have their van and a speedboat in the lake they can use to escape...except that the boat sank and when the group tries to pile into the van, the tires are all slashed by hidden spike strips in the driveway. But what's more terrifying than not having any escape is that their demented challenge is starting to affect everyone in the group. Some of the kids are accidentally hurt..but not everyone is sure that these are accidents. What if someone in their group is lying, trying to lure everyone into a false sense of security before murdering them all in a final blaze of glory? No one is safe from the mind games. And the one who makes it out alive might find it was never worth it.

Can anyone be trusted? 

I admit, this movie was a fun watch. Kill Theory is a fun psychological slasher with twisted game-like elements added in that made me think of the Saw movies and Battle Royale. And the end was a very fun full circle twist that took me by surprise but left the movie feeling over and like there's no room for unnecessary sequels. Unlike most slasher movies, the deaths are pretty subdued and there isn't a lot of kinky sex stuff going on - and I won't lie, this movie is kind of forgetable. But if you're looking for a fun one-time watch then I do recommend this movie. And as an added bonus, I had fun adding in lines from the movie Mean Girls, because Daniel Franzese is in this movie, and I just couldn't resist!

From "too gay to function" to getting his eye gouged out? Whoa.