50 Films Of Halloween Part 2: Films Six to Ten

So, at the time at which I am writing this, (aka, right now,) I have watched 20 films. I have reviewed most of them too. The thing I have been the most slow about is posting my reviews. That’s a weird reversal of laziness. I’m doing all the work except the little bit of html and pressing a couple buttons. But, you know how it goes. I’m busy and illogical. So here are the next five reviews! I have a new favorite film of the month so far too!

I really hope I can get through 30 more movies in the next 15 days, you guys.

6) CHILLERAMA (2011 Dir. Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, Adam Green, Joe Lynch)
Viewed streaming via Netflix
DVD | Blu-ray

When I hit play on this anthology film, I was convinced I was taking a hit for the team. And I don’t have much to say on this one, because for the most part, I was. This movie is a dumb failure except for one of the three anthology films strung into the drive-in frame. Wadzilla. Holy shit, Adam Rifkin is a king. Wadzilla manages to be what every low budget faux “grindhouse” film wishes it was, a movie that actually looks and feels as if it could be retro. It is hilarious, extremely well made, stars Ray Wise and Rifkin himself, and features the beloved Blump corporation, from his film The Dark Backward. I highly recommend fast forwarding to the start of Wadzilla and turning Chillerama off the moment it ends. Because everything else about it is crap.

7) SCARED TO DEATH (1980, Dir. William Malone)
VHS Bootleg, Personal collection

Some stupid monster is slaughtering young ladies and a former detective, now novelist gets wrapped in it. Then he drives his car into another car which is being driven by a beautiful woman who he somehow coaxes into going out on a date. Amongst the sloppy monster subplot, there is a bizarrely naturalistic romance blossoming between the two main characters, although for the first half of the movie, it does not seem the least bit related to the monster. That is, aside from the protagonist muttering “I used to be a detective,” over and over again. As the second half of the film starts, his former detective status is finally put to use, and our beautiful female lead is reduced to nothing more than a secretary as she follows our protagonist around doing chores for him. What a fantasy. The beautiful 80s  women are either shredded to bits by a monster or they become subservient to the men. But for the quality of this film, it really isn’t worth going on a feminist tirade. It just irks me when young men make movies mirroring their stupid misconceptions about how the world works. This film is a sloppy mess.

8) EVIL DEAD TRAP 2 (1992, Dir. Izô Hashimoto)
DVD, Personal collection

I’m gonna be honest with you: I have little to no idea as to how this relates to Evil Dead Trap. This movie is so weird and at times, pornographically gory. But the strangest part of all is how well made it is. Both the lighting and camerawork are gorgeous, the cast is interesting and unique, as is the story, and the gore is just phenomenal. This is just an extremely bizarre piece of cinema. It’s hard to even talk about it. The IMDB logline for this film reads “A female projectionist is apparently a serial killer,” which is apparently hilarious. It also informs me that the alternate title of this film is “Tokyo Snuff 2” and I have no arguments with this. The movie is about a, yes, female projectionist who is introduced to an attractive man through her good friend, a beautiful television journalist, specializing in reporting on murders. They get all entangled, meanwhile, the projectionist is murdering women at night. Part of what is so fascinating about this film is the unconventional look of the main character. She’s heavy and curvaceous, and although some characters do criticize her appearance, she is frequently sexualized by the camera and rest of the cast. It’s delightfully different.

I loved this movie. I can’t wait to show some unsuspecting friends of mine this messed up movie. Evil Dead Trap 2 may be replacing Pontypool as my favorite film so far in my 50 Films of Halloween.  I highly recommend the Unearthed Films release of this DVD. They are a fantastic distributor, with a impressive little collection of cinematic oddities, and they do a great job with their releases. I also feel compelled to dig up my DVD of Evil Dead Trap and re-watch that. I’ll get back to you on that one.

9) DEAD END DRIVE IN (1986, Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith)
Viewed streaming via Netflix

A young couple in a dystopian future Australia go on a date to the local drive in movie theater in a borrowed Cadillac only to discover they cannot leave. Their tires are confiscated by the police, and the theater has been turned into a sort of concentration camp. Although Dead End Drive In doesn’t rise above the initial awesomeness of the premise, it’s still a pretty rad movie. It’s a kind of sci-fi wasteland, somewhere between Mad Max and Night of the Comet (one of my favorite movies, which would make a great double feature with Dead End Drive In). The soundtrack rocks so hard, Aussie new wave grooves pumping through derelict club speakers whilst our heroes explore the slums they are now confined to. The movie even manages to work in some pretty intellectual themes, for being a grindhouse sort of popcorn flick. All in all, an enjoyable bit of weird cinema. And if you are already a fan of Brian Trenchard-Smith, you can chuckle at the fact that he worked in footage from a previous film of his, Turkey Shoot, on the drive in screen.

10) SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (2011, Dir. Jack Perez)
DVD, Rental from Netflix

Kevin Corrigan is intrinsically funny. I can’t even say why. Pathetic mannerisms, constantly radiating an air of New York style anxiety. Karen Black shows up as mom and continues to be great at her job. So is Barry Bostwick. Sadly, they are not enough to save this film. This movie is very low budget and poorly thought out. Made by alumni of The Asylum, it seems to be trying to break out of that exploitative mold and completely failing due to lack of creativity. So, you get this bland, middle of the line story about a serial killer meeting his preteen daughter for the first time and trying to live with her. And yeah, aside from the killing, it’s kind of upbeat and charming, but not nearly as much as it could be. It is just mediocre. The real problem occurs in the last act of the film when it devolves into utter stupidity, in a way that isn’t even funny.


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