WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from the ungodly experiment that is the B-Horror Blog, it’s that anything the Asylum can do, Syfy can do a thousand times better (except for those few times when the Asylum makes the Syfy movie). They’re both good staples: The Asylum if you want a movie that’ll be easy to throw insults at, and Syfy if you want some guaranteed cheese. Ghost Storm will give you everything you need so far as cheese factor is concerned, and it even throws in a little soft science just to make the final product that little bit more saccharine-sweet. By the looks of things the people behind this movie had a fairly decent budget to play around with, and gradually these people seem to be coming to grips with making CGI monsters that aren’t so bad they’re insulting. I recommend hanging onto this one for one of those really rainy Sunday afternoons when you want to chase away the approaching Monday blues.
What is it in a teenager’s genetic structure that draws them to creepy cemeteries like moths to a porch light? Science should really look into that. Anyway, as you may have guessed, our story begins with a group of bored teenagers in a dark and spooky cemetery – during a lightning storm, no less. Wherever the hell their hometown is, it would appear to be on a tiny little island, so I guess you gotta get your kicks where you can. Everything’s going absolutely fine (guys scaring girls, ominous thunder) until a bolt of lightning strikes the memorial for the people who died during the town’s now-infamous mass-suicide. The lightning, through means I should check with my Occult Specialist, releases the angry spirits of the departed, who quickly go about turning one of the teenagers into a grey piece of human jerky.
Thankfully, Officer Dad (AKA Hal, father of Daisy, one of the girls that was out in the cemetery) is on the case. There must be a logical, rational reason why Daisy’s 18-year-old boyfriend’s corpse went from looking like the Crypt Keeper to being a pile of mulch in a matter of hours. Of course, the problem here is that they’re stuck on an island, and how exactly would you report this kind of incident to the authorities back on the main land? This of course is only the beginning of the town’s problems – you see, these aren’t your regular pissed off, vengeance-seeking ghosts. These ghosts are smart – why hunt individually when you can join together, form a supernatural storm system and blight the inhabitants of the island all the more faster?
So, with the angry spirits swirling around the island in a giant, lightning-filled vortex, it’s up to Hal, ex-wife Ashley, and Daisy to come up with some kind of way to defeat the ghosts before they turn the entire town’s population into little piles of dust. They will be aided by a seafaring ghost hunter who happened to rock up on the island just as the storm formed. They will need a combination of a lot of random electrical equipment, some occultist knowledge, Ashley’s meteorological know-how, a lot of salt water, a fire extinguisher, an old diary with some town secrets, a weather balloon, a gun, a lot of jumper cables, some cans of silicon gel, half a dozen rolls of duct tape, an ancient talisman and a cellphone tower if they’re ever going to be able to stop these ghosts. Then, of course, there’s the mysterious old priest, and Ashley and Daisy’s old, but not forgotten, family history that ties into the whole affair…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Lightning storms are a tremendous turn on for randy teens.
- The new iSpirit app is very useful for knowing when there are vengeful spirits in the area.
- Exhuming bodies is nothing but good, small town fun.
- It’s very expensive to build a machine that’ll let you speak to a storm cloud.
- Salt water is the best thing to use to soak up spilled evil.
- A good old-fashioned witch hunt usually eases the tension when you’re being held hostage by ghosts.
- Always make sure that your ghost complies with regulatory electrical standards.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Every now and then you need to get together and celebrate the works of a fallen sister; it’s for this reason that Tropical Mary settled on watching The Legend of Bloody Mary with me – I was just there for the emotional support. Turns out we needed a fair bit of it, because this movie was both horrible and, for the most part, highly non-sensical. Take my word for it – it can be very difficult watching a ‘current day’ scenario running alongside a protracted flashback, both of which have another flashback embedded in them. This confusing scenario is tethered together with some atrocious acting, oddly placed mini-skirts, a skate boarder who never skates, and the rampant abuse of a blue filter that serves no purpose whatsoever. Watch it if you dare!
It’s a tale as old as time: Amish girl gets pregnant by “immaculate conception”, town fathers hold an inquiry, no one owns up to impregnating girl, town fathers conclude it was immaculate conception – but by the devil, girl is punished for her vanity by being tied to a tree, cut with knives and forced to look at herself in a mirror while it’s happening, douche lord that actually impregnated girl does the most stabbing, girl succumbs to wounds and Hell’s fury, girl’s spirit becomes entrapped in the mirror and haunts stupid teenage girls for the rest of time. Her spirit will roam the world’s mirrors forever, her gradually decaying flesh calling out in a raspy voice that all she actually wants is some camphor cream and a lozenge. That is the story of Mary Worth.
Flash forward to the present day and meet Ryan (or Brian, we couldn’t really decide). Ryan’s about as interesting as a plank of wood and as useful as a knife with a sharp handle. Thankfully, although he’s nominally the main character of the movie, he actually has very little to do with all of it. His sister Amy was killed when the two of them were kids (and, despite him being a white, blue-eyed adult, when he was a green-eyed, hispanic child). Since then he’s been haunted by nightmare visions of Bloody Mary, so he enlists the help of Father O’Neil (aka Indiana Jehovah). Indiana Jehovah is as useless as Ryan/Brian, and the majority of his scenes are spent focussing on his eyes for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent.
The majority of the story, if that’s what we choose to call it, happens during the flashback to Amy’s encounters with Mary. Essentially it’s all a teenage game gone wrong (which is probably how Mary landed up pregnant in the first place): by writing her name, and the names of her friends, on a mirror, Amy has invoked Bloody Mary’s wrath, and she’s out to get all of them. To do so, Mary transforms into some of her more hi-tech alter egos, including Thrust Pack Mary, Hoverboard Mary, and Hover Shoes Mary. In some bizarre way this loops back to the present day and somehow involves a mass grave, some diaries from the 1600s, Mary’s mirror, and the most inept game of hot potato you’re ever likely to see. All of which, I must reiterate, could’ve been avoided if someone just gave the demonic bitch a lozenge.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- American Green Cards allow a person to change their race.
- 1 corpse is enough to designate an area as a mass grave.
- Carbon dating can be done in a single day.
- Games can have placebo effects.
- Nothing says casual Friday like a professional mini-skirt.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
So I’m back in the saddle but feeling a little rusty; it’s been a few months since I’ve ripped a movie to shreds and I need a little practice. Pretty sure that The Asylum was founded simply for those reasons 🙂 Somehow, through the workings of some malevolent supernatural force, Hold Your Breath (or #holdyourbreath – I don’t know why) actually managed to get a (I imagine very limited) theatrical release. If malevolent supernatural forces were not involved in this process, my only other logical conclusion is that The Asylum has an entire department of buxom young females whose job it is to sleep with whoever necessary to get their movies out there. The movie’s awful, plain and simple; it actually kind of feels like it began shooting, changed scripts, carried on from there, changed scripts again, did some final shooting, and the three different movies were just thrown together for the hell of it.
As a general cautionary tale, this movie advises that at least a little caution should be taken when you come across a zealoty über-German priest out to rid the world of all its sins and vices. This is what Vicar van Hausen tried to do, murdering a number of alleged-harlots along the way, and maiming many others. For his hard work he’s been sentenced to death by electrocution, and the most bizarre array of individuals have turned out to watch the event. The proceedings get underway when a prison guard, obviously mistaking this for an episode of Deal or No Deal, prattles on about what van Hausen did. Van Hausen, before being electrocuted, manages to kill one of the guards before feeling 10 billion volts of CGI electricity coursing through his veins. But can mere CGI electricity put an end to such an evil?
Of course not. If it was, the movie wouldn’t be able to give you gratuitous shots of L-shaped breasts, now would it? Wanting to relive the glory days of high school, a group of friends decide to head off into the wilderness and leave the boring world of rent cheques and deadlines behind for a bit. Driving along their merry little way they happen upon a cemetery, where Blonde Girl tells them that they all have to hold their breath. Why? Because apparently, when a spirit is SO evil that Hell itself cannot contain it, simply holding your breath means that it is powerless. Everyone but The Stoner does this, and he becomes possessed by the ghost of van Hausen. To be fair he was a pretty obvious target from the very beginning, as his nipples are so large they could easily store an additional 3 or 4 evil spirits. In the midst of all this craziness the group decides to take a break and visit an old, abandoned insane asylum and have some sex before continuing on to the great outdoors.
After the necessary amounts of sex have been had and the movie’s done some good padding with the old electric chair, the group eventually decides to move on. Possessed Stoner has already killed a cop and set him on fire, but thankfully the body and car vanished into thin air before anyone saw what he was up to. The problem with evil ghosts, however, is that they tend to become a little slutty, and one body just can’t satisfy them. So van Hausen takes to hopping around between the group in order to exact his non-sensical revenge on the world. The group’s a bit slow so they’re gonna need a little help that comes in the shape of a hermit with a shotgun. The hermit was at the asylum when van Hausen was executed back in the 50s and, through magic of his own, has only aged about 25 years since the event. Thankfully the hermit has a little friend he can call on to bring van Hausen’s drizzle of terror to an end once and for all… maybe…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Only 5-year-olds are scared of getting caught smoking pot on a street corner.
- High school teachers take sabbaticals to recover from traumatic paper clip injuries.
- Nothing says ‘fun’ like having sex in an abandoned asylum’s mortuary/maternity ward.
- In certain circles it’s frowned upon when people in their 30s don’t behave like they did in high school.
- Blowjobs are a common bartering tool to get former badasses to sit in an electric chair.
- Two things you don’t want in life: the creation of a new asshole by means of a pitch fork, and having carnal knowledge of a bobcat.
- Possession-based amnesia is a terrible problem in areas with a lot of cemeteries.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
You know those movies where you sit watching them, and all the time you can see that somewhere, lurking at the very back, is a great concept that just isn’t being executed at all well? This is one of those movies, and it made a little more sense to me when I found out it was a remake of an original Japanese film. Sometimes the crossover and Hollywood touch-up really just doesn’t do anything for a movie. This one starts out promisingly enough, but very quickly breaks down into utter confusion until you’re left with so much of a mess it looks like a 3-year-old with left-handed training scissors was put in charge of the editing process. Oh well, just another day at B-Horror Blog headquarters I guess… 😉
Now, if we cast our minds back into the Middle Ages, we may be granted insight into the social workings of Romanian Gypsy society. Similarly to Western Society, especially if one takes Victorian England as a model of comparison, women didn’t have an awful lot going for them, and their lot in life was largely determined by who they married. Marry poor, stay poor; marry rich, and the world’s your oyster. But what if a gypsy woman wanted to do one better? To one up those that simply married rich, one gypsy woman made a deal with the devil to be given the most powerful and wealthy husband in her entire Romanian village. The price? She must give up her first-born daughter to be the devil’s consort and bear his unholy and extremely gooey children. It all seemed like a fair trade, and Matya was born with the mark of the devil. Pity about that whole ‘being brutally tortured and killed by the locals’ thing though…
As time withers on facts become cautionary tales which become myths which become old wives’ tales. Such was the fate of Matya’s horrible death, until one day in 1928 when a director tried to bring her story to life on film. It didn’t go very well since the set seemed to be haunted by some malevolent and otherworldly spirit. Eventually the director and his cast simply vanished altogether, leaving nothing of the film save for a few production shots. This lost film has become Marcus Reed’s latest obsession. Apparently a wonder-child director, his first movie met with such critical acclaim that he became Hollywood’s darling before cancelling production of his second one because the location gave him bad vibes. You see, Marcus is kinda of a director-cum-psychic medium who can feel when something horrible has happened to a spirit.
Now Marcus and his spirit guides want to remake the original movie that was begun in 1928. How he’s going to do this since the original movie was a.) never completed and b.) completely lost is a question best left to the spirit realm. He takes his team to Romania to shoot the film on the exact same set from 1928, feeling that this will add atmosphere to the production, but things soon start to go a tad bit awry. Eye-eating insects infest the set, strange apparitions start appearing on the film, electricity supply simply cannot keep up with the filming, crew members begin to fall from the sky and, at one point, mass panic and lunacy breaks out amongst the entire production crew. Somehow the lead actress and Marcus’ ex-girlfriend seem to be involved in all of this, and he’ll need all his psychic powers for the final confrontation with the spirit of Matya to bring the nightmare to an end.
The main problem with this movie is that the story is terribly set up. Without the basic knowledge of what the hell’s actually meant to be happening the action that takes place makes no sense, and all your left with are a vague bunch of peripheral characters that you don’t really care about running from a strange psychic man and a ghost whose motives are far from clear. A nice try, but let’s just agree that it’s best to leave J-horror to the Japanese.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Demonic flashbacks can give you awesome script-writing inspiration.
- Why call it a fit when ‘apparitional experience’ just sounds so much cooler?
- Pronouncing the name ‘Marcus’ as ‘Mar-coos’ is enough to convince anyone that a person is Romanian.
- If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you can always ask the Devil to exchange cash for your first-born daughter.
- Discussing film that may be haunted will make you sound like a Scientologist.
- No film set is complete without an underground chains and creepy chandelier storage facility.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
The Tropical Mary movie train rides again, with the axe-wielding Stygian Mole acting as our bodyguard against the b-grade horror. Admittedly, going in, the three of us didn’t expect much from a movie called Trailer Park of Terror. The fact that this was our 16th movie in 38 hours also meant that the mind wasn’t as strong as it once was and the line between reality and fiction was beginning to blur. Despite these rather significant odds this was actually one of those rare gems we occasionally find in the mountain of otherwise crap movies that I’ve managed to accumulate. If, like myself, you’re a sucker for a southern woman with a penchant for murder then this movie is definitely the one for you!
You know things are gonna get really trailer up in here when a movie opens with a shot of a doily on top of a TV and a woman wearing a scrunchie. Meet Norma, a lovely young thing with blonde hair, supple body and big dreams. She’s gone done met herself a strapping young fellow who’s everything she wants in a man (ie. he isn’t old enough to be her father, he isn’t a raging alcoholic and he doesn’t sell possum and racoon meat). To be honest the standards going around are relatively low, but that’s perfectly understandable given Norma’s humble (and dysfunctional) upbringing. Before going out to a dance Norma and her beau are accosted by some of the park’s residents; one thing leads to another and the boyfriend lands up impaled on a broken fence. Norma, justifiably pissed off, makes a deal with the devil and blows everyone and the trailer park to kingdom come. The tragedy that was Norma’s life came to an end that evening… Or did it?
Flash forward to a future with a lot of missing persons posters in the area of the old trailer park and Pastor Lewis is trying to bring a few lost souls back to Jesus. What part of ‘let’s stick half a dozen troubled teenagers in a bus together in the middle of nowhere’ sounded like a good idea I’m not quite sure but they’re here now so we might as well do something with them. While travelling out of a little town the brilliant Pastor Lewis plows their bus into a strangely abandoned truck. With the rain coming down in sheets they run off to find shelter and come across a conveniently placed trailer park run by a lovely woman named Norma. Sounding familiar? Norma’s delightfully southern, in a tiny red dress and only too happy to do whatever it takes to make this little group comfortable for the night. After all, southern people are known for their hospitality. They’re also known for making cheese grits, but that’s a separate story.
Of course every trailer park comes with its own ghosts, and these ones happen to be particularly vindictive. After killing the inhabitants of the trailer park Norma damned them all to haunt the place because of the deal she made and they’re now super psycho versions of their mortal selves. Red necks, angry Asian masseuses and an overly ‘voluptuous’ woman with a mild racoon meat addiction are the order of the day for our group of misguided youths. As a bunch of sex addicts, drug addicts, adulterers and cowards they’re really gonna have their work cut out for them if they’re gonna have any chance of surviving the night. Prepare yourselves for blood, beheadings and some epic undead drag racing to the edge of sanity and back!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Hold it in for too long and you will start peeing acid.
- A trailer park isn’t a trailer park if there are no pink flamingos everywhere.
- If a man is a good lover a woman’s face will actually fall off while she’s having sex with him.
- You’re overdoing a back massage when the spine starts to rip through the skin.
- Many of the undead are trained to use landmines.
- Fresh meat brings all the undead to the yard.
- Proper food hygiene is a highly overrated practice.
- You can pray for forgiveness before you’ve actually committed the sin.
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