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John’s Horror Corner: Mutilations (1986), a 70-minute B-movie with a Claymation Gorn alien monster.

October 22, 2016


MY CALL:  Boring, boring, and more boring–not even really “so bad it’s good.”  The best part of this movie was its silly Claymation, and they overplayed it so much that it became more annoying than entertaining.  Hard fail.  MORE MOVIES LIKE MutilationsAlien Predators (1985).  Or even Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) comes to mind just for the cheap claymation.


So why am I watching this?  I had never heard of it.  No one had recommended it.  And that is the reason.  I could say the same for the quite obscure Nightwish (1990) or The Night Feeder (1988) which, however poor and boring, did have a most bizarrely interesting payoff in the end with a tentacle-tongued brain-sucking mutant baby—not that I’d recommend it.  These are the often somewhat regrettable films that I just can’t help myself but to need to see from time to time.  And this is another one…

We open with an astronomy professor explaining the basics of the thousands of stars visible during an evening class trip with his students, of one which asks if any of those distant “specs” (i.e., the stars) could have life on them.  The answer is NO.  A burning star (i.e., a SUN) would fry any lifeform!  The planets that we cannot see, however, do have a shot at housing life.  Next question. LOL.

The same night, using the light from his hobo garbage fire, a vagrant reads in the newspaper about recent cattle mutilations as a meteor is revealed to actually be a UFO.  About as casually as approaching the new neighbors across the street, he casually approach the spaceship to meet a slimy-clawed reptilian alien—a more menacing Gorn (Star Trek) monster really.


Our astronomy class takes a trip out to the remote area where some “lights in the sky” sightings have been made and cattle have been mutilated.  They find the most terribly (yet hilariously) mutilated Claymation steer.  It’s pretty poor, and you can actually “see” the green screen separating the actors from the flayed-inside-out steer as it thrashes.  It’s pretty goofy.


Speaking of not taking this at all seriously, our professor uses phrases like “conduct legitimate scientific research” when he really means “gaze at the sky” with his students, and he identifies his job title, specialty and institution to basically everyone he meets. In fact, almost all dialogue in this movie is exposition, and often needless.


The effects are pretty entertaining (even if dumb). A victim is strangled and his head shrivels and transforms into a sloppy gory mess.  The finale includes some tentacle-armed Claymation aliens (looking like the Gorn and Brundlefly had a baby) against green-screened students armed with harpoons and flashlights.  And, of course, there was that Claymation steer.


Officially listed at 1:07:30 (67.5 minutes), there were 2.5 minutes of opening credits with no scenes taking place in the background—just empty space and theme music—and the closing credits begin at 1:05:00, leaving this haphazard film barely over 60 minutes.  Although that might be something of a blessing considering how boring it is.


This 60-minute B-movie was written, directed and produced by one-and-done filmmaker Larry Thomas (no other credits) and stars almost entirely actors who had never been in anything else, nor would they ever.  The acting is on the verge of robotic, like they were reading cue cards completely unrehearsed and limiting the filming to single takes.


As much as the Claymation scenes made me smile, they were overused and often repeated the same footage several times.  And as silly as the premise was, the movie was too boring to really embrace its badness.  It was almost as if they were trying to make a “real movie” on a shoestring budget and an inexperienced cast, rather than realizing what this truly was and running with it.


Just terrible.  I recommend this to no one unless you have a group of friends and a case of beer.


John’s Horror Corner: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), continuing the evolution of Freddy Krueger’s influence.

October 19, 2016


MY CALL:  The kills remain highly creative, Freddy gets sillier, the characters get pithier, and the re-watchability remains top notch for this stellar franchise.  This movie is excellent for a fun popcorn horror night!  MOVIES LIKE Dream Master: First off, you should first see the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.  Other classics everyone should see include Poltergeist (1982; discussed at length in our podcast episode #16), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Hellraiser (1987).  For more recent horror with a similar sense of humor try Wishmaster (1997) and Hatchet (2006).


As is typical for the franchise (but not at all boring or played out), we open with a surreal dream. Kristen pulls Joey and Kincaid into her nightmare as we are reminded of the excellent scoring and soundtracks that continue to grace this franchise and complement the spectacles of a most eerie atmosphere.  Whether for use of shadows, our villain’s skin-crawling chuckle, or elaborate set design, the mood is persistently uneasy when it should be.  This is a sequel worthy to follow the mighty Dream Warriors.


Dream Warriors ended with the unusual circumstance of three teen survivors: Joey, Kincaid and Kristen (replacing Patricia Arquette is Tuesday Knight; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare)—instead of the standard “final girl” survivor theme.  Contrary to the beginning of part 2 and part 3, both of which reference part 1 without really being “direct” sequels of the story, part 4 now continues with our three survivors back in high school after their apparent release from the mental health facility.

I love that we get a good sense of these characters, their relationships with each other and what they’re like individually—a luxury we typically don’t enjoy while watching horror movies, yet a thankful staple of the NOES franchise so far.  Their actions reveal their relationships instead of having a poorly written script “telling” us who’s who.

In addition to Joey, Kincaid and Kristen, there’s the nerdy Sheila (Toy Newkirk) who doesn’t pay attention to boys, the shy and virginal Alice (Lisa Wilcox; A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child, Watchers Reborn), her dapper martial artist brother Rick (Andras Jones; Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama), his jock buddy Dan (Danny Hassel; A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child), and the man-hungry fitness fanatic Debbie (Brooke Theiss; Beverly Hills, 90210).  Continuing the franchise legacy of prohibitively mettlesome alcoholic absentee parents, our protagonists must defend themselves against more than just Freddy.  So they have only on each other to rely.


By this fourth movie, Freddy’s menace has almost completely wicked away like his cindered flesh, leaving now the outwardly iconic sick sense humor left completely uncaged in Dream Warriors.  If there was any question about his heavy transition to comedy please take, for example, his beach sunglasses and Jaws (1975)-homaging shark fin claw.  Yeah, things are getting silly even for Freddy Krueger.  He’s peeling apples with his claws, speaking like a wise 1800s kung fu master, playfully eating pizza topped with teenage meatball souls, and feistily pelting out adages like “no pain, no gain,” “you can check in, but you can’t check out,” and “sayonara”—all appropriate to the murderous situation and all delivered with the shamelessness of a sitcom dad gleefully embarrassing his kids.


Freddy’s kills continue to entertain with creative flair.  Kincaid is killed after his dog’s flaming stream of urine resurrects our clawed killer; Joey succumbs to yet another way out-of-his-league topless dream girl (Hope Marie Carlton; Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Savage Beach, Slumber Party Massacre III, Slaughterhouse Rock); the nerd is life-sucked to a drained husk a la Lifeforce (1985) or Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988); and a fear of roaches and an evil bench press spotter lead to a grossly insectoid transformation death scene.

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Freddy (Robert Englund; Wishmaster, Hatchet) has fully embraced being a known entity rather than the mysterious boogeyman he was in part 1 and Freddy’s Revenge.  Not only has Freddy evolved, but so has Freddy’s dream world.  Whereas Freddy once held all the power in his realm, with Dream Warriors the once defenseless teen dreamers became more empowered.  Playing on that notion of power as Kristen, the last of the Elm Street kids, dies she imbues Alice with her power sort of like a Highlander movie (1986, 1991).  Now Alice can pull people into her dreams and, after Rick dies, she can use nunchucks, too!


Even if it’s just a product of directorial flourishes, Freddy’s influence likewise continues to expand with each sequel. Two examples include Freddy being resurrected somehow by flaming dog piss and Alice awakening to find a postcard that ignites while she is clearly awake.  In part 1 Freddy’s realm of influence was only in dreams, then he used a dreamer’s body as a conduit (part 2), and his reach continues to ebb into reality leaving the line between dream and reality ever more blurred.


SIDEBAR: This is the kind of sequel the franchise deserves!  Not just for how it has evolved, but for what it retains.  Like every sequel before it, Dream Master calls back to the paramount NOES themes.  Parts 1-3 featured the steam-spewing boiler rooms, the power plant where Freddy worked and the junkyard where his remains were hidden, and here we revisit all of them.  Instead of face impressions on Nancy’s bedroom wall, Freddy’s form emerging through Jesse’s stomach, and Freddy manifesting himself through a television set, we find the impression of stolen souls trying to writhe free from Freddy’s body.
eeWhere once the perverted Freddy licked Nancy through the phone, licked a young girls stomach, or tongue-tethered a teenager’s limbs in a sick fantasy, he now lecherously flicks his tongue and “sucks face” to kiss a teenager to death.  And rather than slicing off his own fingers, revealing his own brain, or uncovering his soul-embedded chest, he now reveals that he is literally filled with the souls of his victims.  Also continuing to flavor the franchise, we again revisit Nancy’s dilapidated house on 1428 Elm Street and the unnerving little girls, likely the ghosts of Freddy’s victims.


I must emphasize that I still enjoy all the practical effects in all four of the first NOES films that are now 30 years old.  Sometimes the simplicity makes it more gross, weird, off-putting, or even a bit more funny; and thrillingly FUN.  I especially enjoyed Freddy’s resurrection when his bones reassemble and, just like Hellraiser (1987), his fluids congeal over his joints and skull to form sinew and flesh (like reverse time lapse melting of wax).


The effects of the animated writing on the physics exam and the life-draining kiss were also noteworthy.  But Debbie has the most spectacular death since the Dream Warriors wrist tendon marionette.  She slowly turns into a roach—a creature for which her hatred is firmly established—first through her arms torn asunder, then she finds herself in one of her own roach motels and the glue gooily tears off her face!  And Freddy’s defeat in the cathedral finale is decidedly unique as the souls trapped within him manifest as slimy flayed arms emerging from his body, tearing him open while trying to escape themselves.  It’s quite a sight and a testament to 80s practical effects.


Despite the rapid release of sequels (following the 1984 original in ‘85, ‘87, and now ‘88), this movie triumphs with heavily diversified and interesting sets, and the deaths remain elaborate and creative…as are many of the themes of the film.  Director Renny Harlin (Deep Blue Sea, Exorcist: The Beginning) even tunes in to our childhood sentiments with The Wizard of Oz (1939; Alice’s ruby red shoes and the gale force wind pulling her into the black & white movie), another dream-like world ruled by someone with magical powers and beaten by a young woman who gains strength from her friends.


If I had one disappointment it would be that Dream Master does nothing to build on the mythology of Freddy Krueger after Dream Warriors gave us Amanda Krueger, the ghostly nun who told the story of Freddy’s rape-conception in a mental hospital.  That said, we do clearly observe a continued and gradual evolution of Freddy’s influence which will continue in subsequent sequels (Dream Child & New Nightmare).e1

If Dream Warriors was the “fan favorite” sequel, I’m tempted to say that Dream Master might be at the very least tied for the “most fun sequel,” ranking quite high for re-watchability.  Not only that, but I decree that anyone who fancies themselves a horror fan should own NOES 1-4.


Enjoy and pleasant nightmares.


John’s Horror Corner: Night of the Demons 2 (1994), yet more boobs, more gore, more lipstick, and more fun cheesy demonic possession than part 1.

October 16, 2016


MY CALL:  I consider this sequel to be a far better film and far more fun than Night of the Demons (1988). Featuring everything you loved from before, but with more of it and more handsomely packaged.  If you only see one of the four Night of the Demons movies, make it this one.  MOVIES LIKE Night of the Demons 2Night of the Demons (1988), Night of the Demons 3 (1997) and The Hazing (2004).

Director Brian Trenchard-Smith (Leprechaun 3, Leprechaun 4: In Space) picks up where Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons, Witchboard 1-2) left off.  We find the now permanently demonic and prettier Angela (Amelia Kinkade; Night of the Demons 1-3) residing in the same haunted house where we left her possessed by a demon in 1988.


And staying true to the somewhat raunchy path paved by Tenney, Trenchard-Smith doles out the nudity early and heavily by suggesting that bedtime in the Catholic school girls’ dormitory means “panties and topless time.”


“Is that really what you wear to bed?”


Creating a more formal continuity, the end of Night of the Demons (1988) is recounted as a dormitory ghost story noting that everyone was found mangled and dead except for Angela, who was missing and presumably remains a part of Hull House.  This ghost story is particularly troubling to Mouse (Merle Kennedy; May, Dollman, Leprechaun 3).


The actors in this sequel glow compare to those who came before them.  Both written and acted more convincingly, they include Z-Boy (Darin Heames; Dr. Giggles, Alien Nation: The Enemy Within), Rick (Rick Peters; Leprechaun 4: In Space), Terri (Christine Taylor; The Craft, Campfire Tales, Room 6) and Kurt (Ladd York; Leprechaun 4: In Space).


For his aptitude regarding the occult, Perry (Robert Jayne; Tremors 1 & 3 & TV series) seems to be modeled after Christian Slater’s role in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), and Shirley (Zoe Trilling; Night Terrors, Dr. Giggles, Leprechaun 3) appears to be assuming Linnea Quigley’s Night of the Demons (1988) role as the raunchy girl with the demonic lipstick-eating breasts.

Father Bob (Rod McCary; also Father Bob in Leprechaun 3, 976-Evil II, Komodo vs Cobra) and Sister Gloria (Jennifer Rhodes; Halloween, Slumber Party Massacre II, Charmed) run the Catholic school and both characters offer a lot of flavor and fun personality to this movie.

During preparations for the Halloween dance Perry’s interest in demonology inspires him to perform a summoning ritual using the dark tome called the Necronomicon (not sure where he got that exactly) and Shirley rounds everyone up for a Halloween party at Hull House.  So what could possibly go wrong?  How about demonic possession?  Much as in the Evil Dead series (1981, 1987, 2013) and Demons 1-2 (1985, 1986), demonic possession is quite contagious.

Like its predecessor—but bigger and better—it has its raunchy moments, taking every opportunity to deliver boobs, bra and panty shots, more boobs, some sex scenes both demonic and human, and a LOT of sexy dancing.  Sexy demon-possessed dancing actually turns out to be a theme in this franchise, and Angela has returned to defend her title!


The raunchiness is heavily complemented by the campy yet clearly deliberate cheese factor.  For example, like in part 1 either injury or kissing transmits demonic possession like an STD… and more often than not, it’s girl-on-girl kissing or forced kissing.  We also have demon heads in toilets, deliberately lame creepy shadow stalking and randomly “poof” appearing demons, a nun arming herself like she’s Rambo, filling water balloons and super soakers with holy water, sexually aggressive demon hands and infernal trouser snakes, multiple sports references involving a severed head, a ninja turtle head-poking nun, during the sacrifice finale Angela actually seems to use the Force to paralyze two teenagers, and at one point they play stock footage of part 1 Angela (with shorter non-permed hair) floating down the hall.  It’s all quite delightful.



Note the hairstyle change.


This sequel is to Night of the Demons what Evil Dead 2 (1987) was to Evil Dead (1981); a remake masquerading as a sequel.  Only in this case, it builds on the story much as The Thing (2011) was a prequel that replayed key scenes from the 1981 original as if it were a remake.  And like The Thing (2011) and Evil Dead 2 (1987), it offers a lot “more” of everything.  More boobs, more melty demons, more raunchiness, more cheesy ploys, more sexy dancing, more “lipstick scenes” and more gore.



The effects and gore include more demonic faces with mangled demon teeth, an infernal acidic handshake, bloody decapitation, a phallic lipstick demon parasite, holy water-soaked gore-slathered demons melting like Gremlins (1984), snake monster Angela and a deliciously chunky gory explosion. There is a solid range of horror effects entertainment.

Additionally, this sequel makes a great callback to the fan favorite Night of the Demons “lipstick scene.”  The very lipstick Suzanne (Linnea Quigley) inserted into her breast is discovered again.  After an attempted mouth-rape impregnation, the lipstick transforms into a fleshy tendril and crawls up into a girl like the Evil Dead (1987, 2013) tree rape—it was not consensual.  It’s gross and quite provocative, and now it’s possessed this young lady and imbued her with demonic breasts which then literally attack someone!


In the end evil is vanquished and the demonic lipstick is found outside of the Catholic school to usher in another sequel…which does in fact come along in 1997 followed by a 2009 remake.

However campy this sequel may be, the writing is far more credible (i.e., less silly), the acting is superior, and there is actually some substance and reason to the story.  Whether you love gore, boobs, or gore on boobs (yep, that happens), this movie is for you.  Honestly, even if not a single breast populated this movie, it would still be a popcorn favorite of mine.  It’s loads of fun, it’s never slow, and there is a broad range of gross effects waiting to entertain you.


Highly recommended for a laugh while unwinding after your Halloween party, or as an installment to mark on your 31 Streaming Films for 31 Days “Horror Calendar.”


John’s Horror Corner: Night of the Demons (1988), a fun cheesy campy possessed Halloween night.

October 15, 2016


MY CALL:  Watching this cult classic and its diverse 80s practical effects should bring a smile to your face. Equal parts dumb and fun abound in this campy, cheesy, somewhat raunchy Halloween movie.  Enjoy.  MOVIES LIKE Night of the DemonsNight of the Demons 2 (1994), Night of the Demons 3 (1997) and The Hazing (2004).


It’s Halloween and for just one night all things evil roam among us freely.  And not just evil…douchebags are out tonight, too.


Stooge (Hal Havins; Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama, Witchtrap) and his fellow teenage delinquents are out on Halloween night harassing the elderly and looking for trouble.  Two couples (including Cathy Podewell) have the misfortune of joining these degenerates to a Halloween party thrown by “the weird girl” from school Angela (Mimi/Amelia Kinkade; Night of the Demons 2-3) and her sultry friend Suzanne (Scream Queen Linnea Quigley; Creepozoids, Silent Night, Deadly Night).


The party is being held in an abandoned funeral home, a haunted venue called Hull House where the family and staff were all brutally murdered. So what could possibly go wrong?




How about demonic possession?  Much as in the Evil Dead series (1981, 1987, 2013) and Demons 1-2 (1985, 1986), demonic possession is quite contagious.



This film was clearly the high point of director Kevin Tenney’s (Witchboard 1-2, Pinocchio’s Revenge, The Cellar) career.  This cult classic has its raunchy moments, taking every opportunity to have women changing clothes on-screen, bra and panty shots, abundant boobage, Linnea Quigley offers up the longest naughty panty shot in horror history, and a LOT of sexy dancing.  Sexy demon-possessed dancing actually turns out to be a theme in this franchise.


Wow! This is like Flashdance (1983) meets Legend (1985).

The raunchiness is heavily complemented by the campy cheese factor permeating the writing.  The malevolent old man with his razor blades, an underground stream that runs in a circle around Hull House (because we all know streams flow in circles!) entrapping the evil spirits, lame dialogue, girl-on-girl kissing to transmit demonic possession like an STD… need I go on?


The effects and gore include bitten out tongues, demonic faces with mangled demon teeth, the iconic “disappearing lipstick” scene, an awesomely eye-popping eye gauge, fire-scalded melty flesh, tattered demon zombies… this is no one trick pony.  We enjoy a nice range of horror effects entertainment.




But as far as the plot goes, it’s all pretty haphazard really.  Essentially, a bunch of teenagers go to a demon-infested house, people become possessed and then either try to infect or kill those who remain.  There is no sense of story, climax, challenge or goal other than to survive and escape the house.  Our once semi-clever demons had a few tricks up their sleeve, but by the end they are senselessly reduced to a nearly mindless and tactless zombie horde, and despite being featured on the DVD cover the “Angela demon” is no more menacing or in charge than the others.  Although she probably won the sexy demon-possessed dance off challenge!


Sort of reminds me of Soul Train or MTV’s The Grind.


After the “lipstick scene” of course, the best scene was the last—in which a crotchety old man (from the opening scene) eats a lethal pie made from his razor-blade apples.  Cheeky and memorable.




This reminds me of Bridesmaids fighting to catch the bouquet!

The diversity of effects and the silliness of the growling-laughing demons continues to make this work as a cult classic while clearly offering nothing in the way of substance (or style).  It’s pretty stupid.  But even more so, it’s pretty fun!  Highly recommended for a laugh while unwinding after your Halloween party, or as an installment to mark on your 31 Streaming Films for 31 Days “Horror Calendar.”


Like an alligator at feeding time. Haha



MFF Special: The 10 Best Cinematic Kitchen Fights

October 14, 2016

The cinematic kitchen fight is an underutilized aspect of filmmaking. When done right the kitchen fight can be a thing of beauty because there are plenty of props, weapons and burning stoves in which to inflict pain. There are endless possibilities to kitchen warfare and I love how items like skillets can become deadly in the hands of assassins (American Ultra and Grosse Point Blank), Disney princesses (Tangled) or Danny DeVito  Also, if you are looking to see if someone is a superhero it is best done in a kitchen.


The following post covers the 10 best cinematic kitchen fights. The main criteria is that the fight needs to take place mainly in a kitchen. The Bourne Supremacy features some solid kitchen brawling, but it cannot be considered a kitchen fight because it sprawls all over a swanky apartment. I really wanted to include the scrap in Wet Hot American Summer, but since it is a Netflix television show it will serve as a perfect example of the fights that will be featured.


Without further ado here is the list! Enjoy!

10. The Bodyguard (1992)

The reason this fight ranks at #10 is because it is a one-sided beatdown. Kevin Costner makes perfect use of the kitchen and I love how he puts the bar stool on the guy and sits on it. Costner doesn’t even have to say a word as he wrecks plates, glassware and cabinets. The damage isn’t overly substantial and I think it sets a great precedent for the rest of the list because it takes place solely in the kitchen.


9. Braindead/Dead Alive (1992)

Peter Jackson is a maniac. Leave it up to him to feature the weirdest kitchen fight ever. Basically, a gross baby squares off with two women and the results are very odd. The gross baby is hit with pans, chairs and other appliances. Eventually, the baby is stuffed into a blender and in a moment of defiance vomits all over its unsuspecting foe. Any movie that features a zombie baby leaving a facial indentation in a frying pan is cool with me.


8. Under Siege (1992)

Never attack a chef in his kitchen. The thugs in Under Siege learn a terrible lesson as they are picked apart by Steven Seagal. The kitchen in Under Siege is massive so it becomes a playground for Seagal to hunt and throw knives into people’s throats. I love how the clear glassware shields Seagal from enemy eyelines and aids him in his attack. I have a feeling he knew the kitchen inside and out and knew exactly what would happen in any circumstance.


7. You’re Next (2011)

Spoilers! I love the kitchen fight scene in You’re Next. It is brutally hilarious in its over the top violence and features the most insane usage of a blender ever. I like that director Adam Wingard incorporated a slipping gag, and once again frying pans are used as weapons of destruction. Erin (Sharni Vinson) is a great horror heroine and her kitchen work is splendid.


6. Jurassic Park (1993)

If it wasn’t for this kitchen the kids would be dead and Jurassic Park would be very depressing. The scene took two weeks to film and Spielberg specifically wanted it to be in a familiar location because he knew we were all familiar with kitchens and have similar items in our home.  The stainless steel appliances were perfect for accumulating Raptor breath and the raised storage areas proved perfect for capturing cool walking shots.



What I appreciate the most is how this scene makes you hate/love ladles. I had always been indifferent to them but they play a key role in the kids survival, so I had a new respect for them after Jurassic Park.


5. Spy (2015)

I love Spy and I think this fight perfectly encapsulates kitchen fighting. Everything is used (including lettuce) and there are some great gags involving frying pans, knives and bread. The fight was expertly choreographed because it allowed room for character beats which allowed the fight to be fun and feature big laughs and creative violence. Kudos to stunt coordinator J.J. Perry for juggling humor, violence and weaponized bread.



4. Sudden Death (1995)

Can you believe that at the height of JCVD’s career he battled a costumed mascot in the Die Hard ripoff Sudden Death? The fight is surprisingly competitive and I still have no clue how the suited up woman was able to see.  The brawl is a full-on battle that features spin kicks, headbutts and pepper used as a weapon. I love this fight because the director was obviously having fun and embraced the stupidity of the situation. You have to see this fight to believe it.


3. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Deep Blue Sea is my favorite guilty pleasure and the kitchen fight between LL Cool J and a jerky shark is glorious. Basically, LL is stuck in a sinking laboratory and a shark attacks him in his kitchen. The evil shark hunts LL around the kitchen, eats his bird and forces him to wedge himself into an oven. LL eventually escapes the turned on oven (hell yeah!) and blows up the shark. The best part is that he gets a brilliant one-liner that I guarantee you will never hear again.





I couldn’t find any clips of the fight. Instead, I give you LL rapping Deepest Bluest.


2. Gremlins (1984)

What I love about this fight is how expectations are subverted. You think Mrs. Peltzer is going to take a beating, but she wipes these gremlins out with the aid of kitchen appliances. It is bloody, brutal and a gremlin explodes in a microwave! I love that she didn’t back down and took the fight to the little shits.


1. The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)



This fight is the clear #1. Rama (Iko Uwais) is the best action character of the 21st century and this six-minute fight scene is a marvel of choreography and ambition. The scene took eight days to film and features 195 glorious shots of destruction . Gareth Evans is the best action director on the planet and you know he did something right when you are actually tired after watching this fight. Watch The Raid and The Raid 2 now!


What is your favorite kitchen fight?











John’s Horror Corner: The Night Feeder (1988), an incredibly obscure film featuring a brain-eating mutant monster baby.

October 13, 2016

Watching this will accomplish two things: 1) you’ll wait a whopping 90 minutes to see the monstrosity from the VHS/DVD cover art for 90 seconds, and 2) you’ll have bragging rights among horror hounds for having found and seen this incredibly obscure movie.  Those will be your only joys.  90 seconds of mutant monster baby, and bragging rights over a film most have never known to exist.  MOVIES LIKE The Night FeederIt’s Alive (1974, 2008), Dead-Alive (1992), Things (1989), The Unborn (1991) and Hideous! (1997) also feature laughable mutant monster babies to various humorous or twisted effect.

This schlocky oldie opens with a murder crime scene in with a woman’s wounded dead body, clothing tattered and a breast exposed.  It’s the third such murder targeting young women and a local writer sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong when a friend of hers becomes the fourth.


The acting is pretty bad, but for deliberately watching an obscure B-movie it could really be a lot worse.  Adding to the super low budget and haphazard ambiance, the night club and band performance scenes feel and look as unnatural as an early 80s New Wave British music video.  This is where we are bombarded by boobs and stale exposition (e.g., who’s dating who, who works where, and who our victims will be for the evening).

Watching, or more accurately “enduring”, the first 30 minutes of this strange movie was not an enjoyable endeavor.  It’s terribly slow, having no sense of dynamic pace.  But things shift gears for the better for a few minutes during the awesomely gory autopsy scene which revealed that the victims were killed by brain extraction, leaving them with largely hollow skulls.  This scene was pretty cool, but it’ll be over an hour before anything interesting happens again.

There are no fewer than five women’s boobs in this not-so-classy and obscure horror film—however, it is always somehow unraunchy or brief enough that it never feels smutty despite the volume of nudity.  Not only that, but these must be the most boring boobs to ever grace the screen—I never knew I could care so little for boobs until this film came along.  I also didn’t think the discovery of so many dead bodies could be boring.  I’m not surprised the director (Jim Whiteaker) never did anything else.  One-and-done for sure.  Sometimes these bad movies can be quite laughable (e.g., Def By Temptation, Night Angel, Spellbinder, Nightwish), but unfortunately the cast and crew tried too hard for it to be enjoyably so-bad-it’s-good, yet didn’t try quite hard enough for anything to really be good at all.

Red herrings are abundant.  The local New Wave Punk band DZS (pronounced “disease”), a street drug of the exact same name (DZS), and a strange hobo known citywide as “the creeper” are presented as possible killers.  But if you bought or rented this movie, you’ve seen the cover art illustrating a mutant monster baby of sorts.  So there go those theories.


Outside of the typically lame eye-gauged corpses, the special effects include some momentary slime drool, slimy undead (during a dream sequence), the highly entertaining autopsy effects (complete with the sound of pulling the skin from the skull), and, of course, the killer mutant baby!


This monstrous infant is THE ONLY REASON to watch this movie.  You saw the awesome DVD cover, decided you had to see it (like me), you suffered through 90 minutes and now it’s finally time!  Yes, that’s right, you don’t even see the baby until the very end.  Take it or leave it.


Well, the mutant baby monster is pretty awesome (for an 80s B-movie).  The problem is that we only see it for about a minute and then the movie ends.  For real.  A minute.  Now, I really liked this monster and it looked like Evil Dead 2’s (1987) Henrietta and Total Recall’s (1990) Kuato had a baby.  But the looooong wait for such little payoff makes this obscure and bizarre movie hard to recommend.


The 2016 MFF Halloween Horror Guide

October 12, 2016

The world is inundated with lists telling you which horror films to watch on Halloween. I’m sure they all have their merits but they aren’t looking out for everybody. I wanted to bring you a wide variety of films in order to give you options. I understand that not everybody watches the same kind of movies so options are always nice.

I came up with 16 categories and in those categories I’ve given you a main option and a backup in case you don’t like the first recommendation. Hopefully you can find something you will enjoy. An added bonus is that all of these films are streaming on either Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO GO or Shudder.

Sidenote: Check out the horror movie streaming calendar I made to check out other streaming options.

  • If you are in the mood for…..

1. A dinner party that goes terribly awry

The Invitation (Netflix) – What I love about The Invitation is how it builds to an amazing final shot. You won’t find a better ending to any 2016 film because it actually earns it. Director Karyn Kusama has created a world that is loaded with excellent performances, lots of questions and tons of suspense.

  • If you aren’t interested. We Are What We Are (Netflix) – You don’t want to be the guest at one of the Parker’s dinner parties.

2. A witch who turns babies into goo

The Witch (Amazon Prime) – There are things in The Witch that you will never forget. Director Robert Eggers quest for authenticity paid off and you find yourself immersed in a terrifying world. If you are into beautiful/terrible imagery and slow burn tension you will love every second of The Witch.

  • If you aren’t interested: Rosemary’s Baby (Amazon Prime) – The two films are incredibly different but they both revolve around witches/cults and terrible things happening to babies.

3. A thing that never stops following you

It Follows (Hulu- Showtime) – What I love about It Follows is how it is loaded with urgency, patience and dread. It never stops and it keeps you in a constant state of alert because you don’t know where the following creature will pop up next. That is perfect for Halloween horror!

  • If you aren’t interested: The Descent (Hulu – Showtime) – The Descent is one of my favorite horror films and I love how it becomes a brutal and urgent survival film. You will never be able to catch your breath during The Descent.

4. An evil space ship

Event Horizon (Netflix) – If you are looking for a cult classic that is loaded with great actors and insane imagery you will love Event Horizon. It is director Paul Anderson’s best film and the visions of hell will be burnt into your memory.

  • If you aren’t interested: Let Us Prey (Netflix, Shudder) – Let Us Prey is a nasty little film that might as well take place in a hell ship. If you are into gore and insanity you will appreciate this film.

5. A killer who doesn’t have a lame backstory

Hush (Netflix) – Hush is a fantastic horror film  that does a lot with little and Netflix should be stoked they are streaming it exclusively. I love the film because it plays very practically and features a nameless villain that doesn’t need a backstory or motives. Hush is smart, exciting, and wonderfully simple.

  • If you aren’t interested: Final Destination (Amazon Prime) – There is nothing worse than Death trying to kill you. You will wish the nameless guy from Hush was coming after you.

6. A stupid red-faced demon who pops up at the worst moments

Insidious (Crackle) – Insidious catapulted director James Wan back into the mainstream and featured one of the best jump scares ever. Insidious is one of my favorite 21st century horror films because it features a good family being terrorized by terrible evil. They’ve done nothing wrong and I love that they actually move away from the haunted house and put their lives on the line to save each other. Insidious is a horror movie with heart.

  • If you aren’t interested: Poltergeist (HBO GO) – Is a horror classic that has influenced countless films. That damn clown is never not scary.

7. A killer in training

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (Shudder) – It takes a lot of work to become a movie killer. You need to train, walk fast and created overly elaborate backstories. However, if you do everything right you will become a horror legend and star in a very fun cult classic. I love how Behind the Mask pokes fun at horror cliches and then totally subverts all of them.

  • If you aren’t interested: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (Shudder, Netflix) – T&D is horror comedy at its best and I love how it successfully subverts the genre while bringing the gore.

8. A babysitter in a creepy house

The House of the Devil (Shudder – Hulu) – If you are into babysitters being harassed then you will love The House of the Devil. It is an audacious horror film that builds to an incredibly tense and soul crushing conclusion. Director Ti West (The Innkeepers, The Sacrament) is a master of horror and I love that he had the confidence to build to such a crazy ending.

  • If you aren’t interested: The Babadook (Netflix) – There two films are incredibly different. However, they build tension beautifully and feature directors who will be making big waves in horror.

9. Really fast people who are infected with rage

28 Days Later (HBO GO) – Danny Boyle is my hero and 28 Days Later is my favorite “zombie” film. It is the most tension filled horror 100 minutes of the 21st century and it just doesn’t age.  I watch it every Halloween and it seems to get better and better. I love the soundtrack, crazy scares and the opening featuring an empty London freaks me out every time.

  • If you aren’t interested: Dead Snow (Shudder, Netflix) – What is worse than rage infected zombies? Nazi zombies.

10. A hit-man getting into some really weird stuff

Kill List (Shudder, Hulu) – Director Ben Wheatley is a maniac director and Kill List is a journey into madness. I love how it starts off as a hit-man film and slowly devolves into crazy cult shenanigans. Kill List might be the most underrated horror film of recent years and I put it on the list so more people will watch it.

  • If you aren’t interested: Black Death (Shudder) – Black Death won’t leave you feeling happy. However, any movie called Black Death shouldn’t be an easy watch.

11. A cabinet owned by a Doctor

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Netflix, Shudder) – If you want to watch an OG movie that is beautiful to look at and might be the first horror films ever made. It is one of the first true horror films and I love the German expressionism and long lasting images. Do yourself a favor and watch a true horror original.

  • If you aren’t interested: Nosferatu (Shudder) – What happens when you can’t get the rights to Dracula? You make a movie called Nosferatu and influence horror movies forever…..Then, you get sued.

12. A Wes Craven classic

The Hills Have Eyes (Shudder) – Wes Craven was a maniac back in the day. His films were angry, brutal and iconic. If you are looking for a classic of the horror genre you will love The Hills Have Eyes. It is a brutal experience that never gets old and features some of the most frightening villains ever.

  • If you aren’t interested: Re-Animator (Shudder, Amazon Prime) – Re-Animator is a fantastic cult classic that needs to be watched by more people. You will love every second of it.

13. The best vampire film of the 21st century

Let the Right One In (Shudder) – Let the Right One In is the rare horror film that transcends the genre because every element of it is great. It is beloved by critics and horror hounds because it tells a heartbreaking story while featuring lots and lots of blood. You won’t find a better vampire movie out there because there aren’t any.

  • If you aren’t interested: From Dusk Till Dawn (Amazon Prime, Netflix) – From Dusk Till Dawn ain’t subtle like Let the Right One In. However, it is a well made splatterfest that is lots of fun.

14. Zombies coming for someone named Barbara

Night of the Living Dead  (Shudder) – George Romero helped changed the horror world in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. If you haven’t watched this classic yet I totally recommend you watch it on Halloween. I guarantee you will love this classic because it is a pure horror film that was created by people who loved the genre and wanted to create something new and exciting.

  • If you aren’t interested: Pontypool (Netflix) – Pontypool is a single location zombie movie that uses its location perfectly and is a really neat head trip. If you are into low budget independent horror that hits above its weight you will really appreciate Pontypool.

15. Drunk people battling aliens

Grabbers (Shudder) – Grabbers tells the incredibly true story (lie) of drunk Irish villagers battling jerky aliens. It is perfection,  and I love how it embraces absurdity and everyone seems to be having fun. If you are looking for something cheeky and scary it doesn’t get any better than Grabbers.

  • If you aren’t interested: Tremors (Amazon Prime) – Tremors is pure creature feature fun. I’ve watched it over 20 times and it never gets old. Viva la Bacon!

16. A descent into Korean madness

I Saw the Devil (Amazon Prime, Shudder) – If you want to put your soul in a headlock you need to watch I Saw the Devil. It is brilliant, tough and beautiful to look at. I think I Saw the Devil might be the best horror film of the last 10 years because it balances amazing performances, lots of blood and a truly scary villain.

  • If you aren’t interested: A Tale of Two Sisters (Shudder) – Embrace the Korean weirdness. You will love it.
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