Monday, February 23, 2015

Curse of the Blue Lights

Watched February 9, 2015

Starring: Claytan A. McCaw, Patrick Keller, Deborah McVencenty, Becky Golladay

A farmer is driving his tractor through a field when he stops by a scarecrow. At the foot of the scarecrow he finds a mutilated animal that is covered in strange corn goo. As the man investigates the animal, the scarecrow comes to life and vomits into the farmer's mouth. The farmer tries to run away but the scarecrow removes itself from it's perch, runs after him and kills him.

Two teen boys meet up after school to take their girlfriends to Blue Lights, the local make out spot. As they drive out there they spend a bunch of exposition time talking about what the blue lights are.  The blue lights are supposed to signify the Muldoon man, a crazy monster. On the way to make out point the teens almost run into a horse and carriage with the ghouls in it.

Much to their surprise as they are making out at Blue Lights, they see some random blue lights. They get out of their car to meet up with three guys they know from school. One of the guys just got a vintage 'cuda. The whole group wants to explore the blue lights, so they start off on a random path. One of the fatter guys who has a mustache (the same guys who owns the sweet 'cuda), trips and slides down the hill and hits his crotch on a mysterious shape. The group follows him and they discover that he hit his crotch on a blue stone arm. The rest of the body seems to be buried in the ground. Nearby they find a strange, stone disk with random writing on it. They take the disk, but as they are driving away they are pulled over for speeding. The cop doesn't believe their story about the stone arm, so they lead him to the spot. But instead of finding the arm, there is just a giant hole there now. The cop leaves after giving them a speeding ticket.  From the hole where the arm was they see marks that it was dragged away, and it looks like the arm was connected to something much larger. The rest of the kids follow the drag marks into a cemetery and deeper into a crypt. Within the crypt they see three ghouls who are trying to resurrect the Muldoon Man, which was the arm they found, by feeding him stewed up parts of humans they have killed.

The group gets scared and run away from the cemetery and the ghouls. They safely make it back to their car to drive away, only to be pulled over by the same cop. He continues not to believe their crazy story so he makes them all walk home. As they break up and head home, the first guy is taken by the ghouls. The cop car passes him and he is grabbed by giant long arms. Another of the group of three guys is taken and turned into a snake companion for the head ghoul.

The original make out couples go to a witch to try to figure out what the disk means. The witch is hard to decipher but she does make a potion that will kill the ghouls. The two guys are allowed to walk through a mirror she has that leads them to the house where the ghouls are. The girls wait with the witch. Two of the ghouls are sleeping when the boys find them. They manage to kill one but the other wakes up before getting the potion. After some runaround the boys escape. As the girls wait with the witch she becomes inhabited by the demons so they escape by walking through the mirror too.

Now the girls are in the house, the ghouls attack them and tie them up. It turns out that the ghouls need the disk as the final piece to bring the Muldoon Man back to life.  From the boys they get the disk, but the boys return with weapons to fight the demon ghouls. They fight the demons, but they have created a zombie army that attacks the girls.  They stab the main ghoul but he flips the lever to complete the Muldoon Man transformation. The other ghoul is melted into the goo that has been nourishing the Muldoon Man. The couples escape the crypt as the cops arrive and shoot the remaining zombies. The Muldoon Man comes for them with all his monster rage and bullets cannot pierce his tough hide. Luckily one the teen boys has a bottle of nitroglycerin that he throws in the path of the monster. The Muldoon Man steps on the nitroglycerin and is blown up.

The teen girls are useless, the effects are gross and great. The fat teen with a mustache dies with an awesome face melt. The witch is terrible and really hard to understand what she is talking about. They spend an insane amount of time in the car just getting to and from make out point. The Foley artist took it to the max in the with scenes with a wind chime that continues throughout.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable movie, it's my type of low budget horror movie.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tales from the Crypt

Watched February 2, 2015

Starring: Joan Collins, Sir Ralph Richardson, Ian Hendry, Peter Cushing, Roy Dotrice

I love the HBO Tales from the Crypt and I love puns so I think the Cryptkeeper is the the best. It's no surprise that there have been multiple movie versions using the great stories from the Tales from the Crypt comics. I didn't know this one existed until I found a VHS copy at a thrift store.

It begins with a group of people being led on a catacomb tour, there are four men and one woman. They end up in a large room with a skull fireplace, they all sit on rocks and the crypt keeper questions them one by one on why they don't remember exactly how they got there. He helps them remember and they tell their tale.

Joanne Clayton (Joan Collins) looks at the broach she is wearing and it transports her to what she was doing before ending up in the crypt. It's Christmas eve and her husband is has set up all the presents around the tree and its reading by the fire. Joanne hits him over the head with a fire poke and he is instantly dead. She opens her Christmas present from him, the broach. Her daughter is laying  in bed upstairs and Joanne reminds her that Santa hasn't come yet, so she better get back to sleep.  Joanne hears on the radio that a man has escaped the mental hospital, stolen a Santa suit and killed several people so be on the lookout for the maniac. Joanne gets paranoid, especially since she just killed her husband. She tries to clean up the murder site and throws in the cellar. She sees the Santa murderer trying to get in, she locks all the shutters and goes to check on her daughter. Her daughter isn't in bed, when she runs down the daughter has Santa, she let him in the house. Crazy Santa kills Joanne.

Carl Maitland (Ian Hendry) is packing up his bags and he says goodbye to his children and his wife. He then heads to his mistress's apartment, he wasn't just going on a business trip he's leaving his family for his mistress. Her bags are packed too and they get in the car to go whereever they are going to be together. He gets tired of driving, so she drives and he falls asleep. She gets sleepy too and almost hits a car but swerves off the road.He seems like they both have died but two years later he comes back as a zombie and he goes to his wife's house but she is horrified. He then goes to his mistresses house, she was blinded by the accident. He looks into a mirror and sees his hideous face. It was all a dream but then they really do crash and they both dies.

James Elliot ( Robin Phillips) is a spoiled brat of an adult man who doesn't like his neighbor Arthur (Peter Cushing). Arthur is a nice old man that repairs thrown away toys and gives them to local children. He is very close to retirement. He has a couple dogs, his wife is dead but he communicates with her through a ouija board. James wants to get rid of him, so he digs up another neighbor's prized rose bushes and the blame immediately fall to the old man's dogs. They dogs are taken away from him.  James then lets the local parents know that the old man is strange so their children shouldn't visit Arthur anymore. James tops off the feeling of loneliness and abandonment by sending Arthur many Valentine's cards with mean sentiments and they are supposedly from multiple townspeople. The old man kills himself that and the neighbors find him a week later. One year later on Valentine's Day, Arthur rises from the grave and rips out the James's heart and leaves it wrapped in a Valentine's poem for his father to find.

Ralph Jason (Richard Greene) is a once successful investor who has just lost a bunch of money. His debt is now so large that his lawyer suggests selling off some possessions. He goes home to his wife and mentions the situation. As they look through the things in the house she is reminded of a statue that they got in Hong Kong. At the base of the statue is some unreadable writing but it makes them think of the wish granting monkey paw. Ralph makes a wish, wishing for some money. Immediately he gets a call with some good news from his lawyer, but he must meet him at his office. As he is driving he is followed by a skeleton on a motorcycle and he crashes his car.  
The lawyer calls the wife to inform her that her husband has died but there is good news in that he has a significant life insurance policy so money is coming her way. The lawyer brings the body in a casket home to the wife. She is convinced that the statue works so she wants to wish to bring him back to life.  The lawyer warns that you have to be very specific about the wish. She wishes that he'll come back to life as he was before the crash, but it turns out he had a heart attack before the crash. She wishes again to bring him to life, but he is filled with embalming fluid so he's in pain, she hacks him to pieces with a samurai sword.

Major William Rogers (Nigel Patrick) is a retired army man but he has just been hired to be the head of a home for blind men. He used the funds set aside for the men for personal use, his office is very well appointed. He turns the heat off in their dorm room at 8pm and won't give them any more blankets. The men begin complain, but he doesn't give into their demands. One of the men dies from the cold so the men plan their revenge. Major Rogers has a guard dog that protects him as he runs the place. The men save their meat and lure the dog into the basement, where they lock it up in a smaller room. They then attack Major Rogers and lock him up in a similar smaller room. Major Rogers can hear his dog barking, the men begin to build something. They let the man out but he has now a narrow corridor of razor blades to navigate, then is hungry dog is releases and he is cut up as his dog attacks him. Don't underestimate blind men when you're a jerk.

With everyone understanding the horrible things they did to get into the crypt, the crypt keeper leads them to the gateway to hell, where they must jump into a pit of fire.

A little slower than modern horror movies, but it's pretty good. I liked the last one with the razor blades the best. It was incredibly sad that the Peter Cushing character committed suicide because his neighbor was a terrible person. Even though he got his revenge as a zombie, I didn't want to see him die.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Howling II: ...Your Sister is a Werewolf

Watched January 26, 2015

Starring: Christopher Lee, Annie McEnroe, Reb Brown, Marsha A. Hunt, Sybil Danning

Finally, I'm watching the sequel to a movie after watching the original. But from the start of Howling II, I was confused if it had anything to do with the original Howling. The title sequence says it is based on the book Howling II but that doesn't help explain what is supposed to be happening.

It begins with Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee) floating in space with a skeleton. He is explaining something about werewolves perhaps. It was unclear to me, but it is later revealed that he is a werewolf hunter.

 Los Angeles ~ City of Angels (actual screen text)
Mariana (Marsha A. Hunt) goes to a new wave/punk club and lures a couple punks to an abandoned warehouse where she turns into a werewolf and kills them all.

Jump to a cemetery, it's the funeral of the Karen White, the Dee Wallace character from the first one, even though it's not played by her this time. The funeral is attended by her brother Ben (Reb Brown) who is very upset that his sister was shot to death after turning into a werewolf during her newscast. One of Karen's coworkers Jenny (Annie McEnroe) is also in attendance. After the funeral, Stefan takes Ben and Annie aside and tells them that Karen isn't really dead, she will rise as a werewolf again because she wasn't shot with silver bullets. Ben in enraged and doesn't believe that his sister is a werewolf, even though everyone saw it happen on live TV. Karen does come back to life but Stefan is there to stab her with a thin silver spike. Mariana and another werewolf were also on the premises, the man is killed but Mariana escapes to Europe to meet up with her Queen.

Somehow Stefan convinces Ben and Jenny to come with him to Europe to destroy the Queen werewolf. Even though they seem like they would be of no help to him, they come along anyway.

Suddenly we jump to somewhere in Europe. I say somewhere in Europe because there is both some Eastern European peasants and a group of hiking Germans, so I'm not sure exactly where they are supposed to be. The small village that they stay in is having a festival with lots of weird masks and dancing.

Meanwhile in a nearby castle, an ancient ritual in underway. We meet Stirba (Sybil Danning) but she is old crone. A young woman is brought in and Stirba begins the ceremony where she sucks the youth out of the woman and Stirba is once again young and voluptuous. With her revitalized body she has a werewolf threesome with Mariana and Vlad (Judd Omen). She also hires the same band that played in LA to come play a show at her castle.

Ben and Jenny who are terrible at everything decide they like each other and have sex, it's very dull. Stefan is trying to find where Stirba is so he gets assistance from a local dwarf. Stirba continues to gain power, but mostly she just takes off her clothes a lot. Jenny is kidnapped by the werewolves and is set up to be a part of a ritual and she is covered in blood, it doesn't effect her much.

They all wander around a bunch until they gain access to Stirba's castle and manage to destroy her. Stirba does have a cool bat/dragon staff that comes to life to attack her enemies. 

Nothing makes sense about what is supposed to be happening in this movie. The cuts are so strange. It seems like the editor just got a new transition program because every type of transition is used: spiral wipe, square wipe, time wipe, rainbow wipe, you name it and it's used.

It ends with a mind blowing montage of scenes from the film intercut with the same scene of Stirba ripping her top off all with the same new wave band from the club scene. There is also an amazing scene where the Dwarf helper's eyeballs explode. The quality of the film is much lower than The Howling, it seems like this was made in the early '70s but it was made in 1984!

It's not a good movie, but it's so weird and the ridiculous montage at the end makes it worth a watch.