- Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (trailer)
- Jack Chop (short)
- Demons (trailer)
- Night of the Demons - A bunch of kids gather for a Halloweeen party at Hull House, an abandoned funeral home fraught with urban legends. Proto-goth girl Angela attempts a seance and inadvertently releases a demon that had been trapped in the house. Hijinks ensue! It's a premise that isn't exactly original, but it mashes up a number of familiar elements (from the likes of slashers, haunted houses, possessions, maybe a sprinkle of zombies) to form a well well executed version of each horror trope it gloms onto. The urban legend angle is surprisingly effective, if a bit derivative. The production design is well done despite clear low budget limitations. Director Kevin Tenney provides a few visual flourishes that work really well, such as a POV shot as the demon glides through the house, or a shot with characters reflected in a broken mirror. The kids are an unlikely bunch, but each comes off distinct and avoid feeling like total cardboard cutouts. The final girl is dating a guy who at first seems good, but turns out to be a creep. Her ex seems to be a creep at first, but winds up being a stand up guy. Linnea Quigley plays Suzanne, more of a sidekick than the main demon (and her demon makeup is somewhat uninspired), but she gets some interesting things to do beyond the normal T&A, notably the infamous lipstick body horror gag (amazing for such a simple effect) and a nice eye-gouging sequence.
- The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror III: Dial Z for Zombie
- White Zombies (Key and Peele)
- Night of the Living Dead (trailer)
- The Return of the Living Dead - A pair of bumbling medical supply warehouse workers accidentally release a poison gas into the air that raises the dead from their graves. A group of punk kids partying in the local cemetery get caught up in the action. A full decade before Scream took the piss out of horror conventions, this film was laying the same groundwork. Written and directed by Dan O'Bannon (most famous for having written scripts for Alien and Total Recall), he was clearly angling for the self-referential, deconstructionist charm that animates (pun intended!) more modern takes on horror. For instance, this flick literally references Night of the Living Dead, positing that the movie was based on real events and that the remains of zombie bodies were mistakenly sent to the warehouse by the army. While deconstructing zombie films, O'Bannon also manages to add his own wrinkles to the sub-genre, most famously imbuing the zombies with an insatiable craving for brains, a trope that really struck a chord. He also made "fast-zombies" a thing decades before nerds started arguing the merits of such details on the internets. Indeed, these zombies can move fast, use complex tools, and even speak (a running gag involving a zombie using a radio in an ambulance to get the authorities to send more brains is pretty funny). The makeup and effects work is pretty good too, giving most of the zombies a distinct look that prevents them from being a completely faceless hoard (until they swarm on unsuspecting victims, I guess, but still).
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (trailer)
- American Pickers Texas (Robot Chicken)
- Werewolf Women of the SS (fake trailer)
- Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers - A private eye is hired to find a missing girl and gets mixed up in a series of gruesome murders perpetrated by chainsaw wielding hookers who are providing human sacrifices to their Egyptian god. You know, that old saw. Look, if you can't tell by the title, this is a sleazy B-movie to it's core, and it revels in cheese. There are feints in the direction of respectability. Jay Richardson plays the private eye as a caricature of noir detectives that actually works reasonably well. The Egyptian cult is led by Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which is a nice touch. Alright, so maybe "respectability" isn't the right word to use to describe any aspect of this production, but it's still tons of fun. Linnea Quigley is joined by another infamous scream queen, Michelle Bauer, who gets one of the film's greatest moments. In a scene that prefigures American Psycho, she takes one of her tricks back to a hotel room, gets naked, covers her painting of Elvis in plastic (to protect it from blood splatter, which will be copious), puts on a hairnet, and then goes to town with a chainsaw. It's brilliant trash. memorable poster too, and the Blu-Ray I watched has a perfect quote on the cover: "The 4th Greatest B-Movie Of All Time" (from that classic film historian house: Maxim Magazine). Look, fine cinema this is not. But if you want trashy 80s cheese, it's hard to beat something like this. ??? (I mean, come on, how do you rate something like this?)
6WH: Week 2 - Linnea Quigley
During last year's Six Weeks of Halloween, I spent a couple of weeks covering what I had termed "Obscure Scream Queens", including Erika Blanc and Isabelle Adjani. This weekend, we return to this sort of theme with a trio of films starring 80s B-movie star Linnea Quigley. Literally off the bus from Iowa, she hit Los Angeles in the late 70s and began picking up small roles in B movies, eventually graduating (pun intended!) to a bigger role in the 1981 Troma slasher Graduation Day. She followed that up with a string of higher profile appearances in the likes of Silent Night, Deadly Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, and a couple of the movies I watched this weekend, amongst countless direct to video shlock (one of which I also watched this weekend). One of the things that inspired me to use this theme was that Joe Bob Briggs included a Linnea vehicle in his recent The Last Drive In marathon on Shudder, a classy little film called Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. I think you can tell what kinda movie that is right from the start. I loved it, and vowed to explore more of her filmography (and if you're in the mood to support horror, Shudder is certainly a worthy purchase, and Joe Bob's commentary is always worthwhile). After last week's high-brow classics, arthouse films, and foreign entries, it's time to get a little trashy, so let's dive in: