WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Lately I’ve come up against a bit of a brick wall so far as my reviews are concerned. I’ve watched so many movies in the past month, but they’ve all ended up being direly boring and I couldn’t think of a single way to write reviews for any of them (although the good Lord knows I’ve tried). It might just be that my standards have dropped, or I was just so desperate to write about something that my mind is making it all up, but I actually found this to be a decent and passable horror movie. It’s certainly not original, it doesn’t try to shake anything up and it doesn’t try to elicit any kind of emotional response from the audience, but as a standard haunted house story it works in the sense that what it does, it does well. I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to get your hands on a copy, but if it happens to come on TV sometime and you haven’t anything better lined up, give it watch. You may end up being mildly entertained.
In a move that may briefly leave you confused and mistakenly thinking that you’re watching Grave Encounters, the movie opens with us following the crew of a ghost hunting show. The show’s a little old school and is made up primarily of stock footage that they’ve green-screened their rather smarmy and pony-tailed host in front of. Since nobody appreciates a classic anymore, the ratings for the show have started to dip tremendously, and the producers are threatening to axe the show unless something is done. Enter the man who knows buzzwords! In his opinion the show needs to take on some elements from reality TV shows (no it doesn’t – nothing EVER needs to take points from reality shows. EVER.) and place the producer in the haunted houses and record his overly dramatic responses. So essentially they’re going to make it into Ghost Adventures.
The powers behind the show have found the absolutely perfect house! It’s set in a lovely neighbourhood, plenty of room for a family, fresh coat of paint, slave lodgings, the works! It also has a terrible history of people going missing as soon as they set foot inside of it, and the neighbours keep complaining about disembodied voices pleading for mercy, but it’s nothing that a new lamp and a mild exorcism won’t take care of. When the crew arrives there’s nobody there to open up for them; thankfully the movie’s a bit racist and has equipped its only black character with the skills to pick locks and a desire to break into white folks’ homes. It’s all a bit strange inside though: why is there a fully stocked fridge in a house that’s been abandoned since before the 1950s? Why is it so spotlessly clean? Why is the psychic they brought with them bleeding out of her eyes? Nobody seems particularly concerned with these questions, so it’s on with the show they go.
It becomes quite apparent quite quickly that this isn’t one of those fake haunted houses – there is some genuine malevolent shit going on in there. Unfortunately the crew is headed up by the biggest asshole of a producer that a film has ever dared to create, so despite the fact that people are disappearing into the walls he absolutely forbids anyone to abandon their posts. As it turns out it isn’t that the house has evil spirits in it – the house itself is the evil spirit. To survive it literally eats its victims in order to maintain itself (gorgeous wallpaper and a meticulously clean crystal chandelier come at a cost, you know), and it isn’t interested in letting any of its new meals out. It’ll be up to the bleeding-eye psychic, a black dude and a melted corpse to solve the case if there’s any hope of them living to see the sun rise again.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Haunted houses are known to spin people right round (baby, right round, like a record baby right round, round round).
- Haunted houses have no right to go around giving themselves fresh coats of paint.
- When the ratings for your TV show are down, it calls for life threatening situations to revitalise them.
- It’s supernaturally dangerous when a haunted house’s pleasure to pain ratios are too high.
- The colour of the ectoplasm you find indicates the level of malevolence you are dealing with.
- It’s very important to routinely check your psychic for hairballs to ensure optimum health.
HOUSE OF BONES TRAILER
BUY HOUSE OF BONES AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 1987
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 2.7 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
To kick off my blast from the past 1987-themed movie month I felt that I should go all out and watch something that was both cheesy and filled with 80s ideas of promiscuity, prostitution and poltergeists. Thankfully everything I wanted was to be found in Blood Sisters, a delightful tale of a sorority initiation gone wrong bundled up in a wrapping of bad hair, chunky accessories and outfits that will make your eyes bleed. It’s one of those typical movies that couldn’t quite decide on whether it wanted to be a paranormal thriller or a slasher movie so it just throws both things together and explains neither.
Deep in the forest, far away from the highway or the distractions of modern life, there exists a place where you can just get away from it all and forget all your worries: the local whore house. Here dozens of women wearing horrible undergarments and covered in so much makeup it would take a demolition crew to take it off are ready and willing to serve your every need, so long as the price is right. There are women for every man’s taste, so long as he doesn’t like them attractive. Business is thriving and the hookers are having a blast in their little hideaway, but somebody isn’t nearly as pleased with the fine work they do for their community. One day, in broad daylight, somebody sneaks into the house armed with a shotgun ready to put an end to this house of giggling delights. With the hookers dead and the local sex economy in a slump, the events of that day gradually begin to make their way into the local annals of urban legend and, it is said, that should you go into the old hooker house deep in the woods the spirits of the women still wander its halls in their trashiest finery, looking for young virgins to take as otherworldly lovers.
When a whore house standing alone in the middle of the woods was once the scene of tragic events, both during its occupants lives and their untimely deaths, the place is virtually begging to host a sorority initiation. The local sorority made up of Greek letters thrown together at random has just finished shortlisting its very long list of pledges and is now ready to allow a new group of girls into its hallowed, bitchy halls. To prove that they will support one another as sisters and to prove that they are stable and mature individuals they must spend the night in the old abandoned whore house which the head sorority sister will have booby-trapped to try to scare them half to death and run out of the house like a banshee into the night. Test of maturity? Yeah, about that. So after a night of what looks like a primitive form of clubbing that takes up a good ten minutes of the movie the girls are blindfolded, put in a van and driven into the woods. From here they need to unpack, get comfortable, hear the story of what happened in the house and then go on a scavenger hunt to prove their allegiance to their would-be sorority house.
So now the house has been rigged up by a team of drunken jocks with a variety of things to scare the girls during their scavenger hunt: tapes of women screaming, babies crying, fake axes, a fake gun and so on and so forth. For a while everything is going fine as the girls go about finding random items on their lists. But then things start to get strange and the girls start seeing things, ghostly things. Strange women are wandering the halls while mysterious and sexy memories begin to play in the house’s mirrors. When it becomes apparent to the girls that the sounds that they’ve been hearing are just coming from things planted in the house to scare them they become more relaxed, but it certainly doesn’t explain the things that they’re seeing around them. When they start to be picked off one by one and cry out for help nobody comes looking for them, thinking that it’s simply another trap that’s been set off to scare them. The question to be asked, however, is what exactly is in the house with them? Are they really becoming the victims of hookers from beyond the grave or is something more sinister, more alive, stalking this old house with them?
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s hard to distinguish between a cult meeting and sorority sisters just getting together.
- Health food not only helps you to lose weight but it will also reverse the effects of degenerative eye disease.
- Women find the memories of ghosts having sex with their favourite client highly arousing.
- Ghostly memories are always accompanied by circus music.
- The presence of ghosts is always accompanied by the sound of bell chimes ringing backwards.
- Sarcasm and fear have no place in a haunted whore house.
- Prostitutes who don’t give good head risk having the police shut their brothel down.
BLOOD SISTERS TRAILER
Year of Release: 2008
IMDB Rating: 3.3 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I was determined to break the recent spate of so-so horror movies that I’ve been watching (Flu Birds provided a nice little respite) and stumbled upon this little gem. Death on Demand is perfect b-grade horror: college jocks, slutty co-eds, bicurious emo nerds, ghosts, abandoned houses and a so-so storyline to tie it all together. It’s a little bit slasher, a little bit mystery, a little bit softcore porn. There’s nothing at all original about the movie and the horror aspect really only serves as an excuse for women to run around topless and in leather skirts, but if you’re a fan of that kind of thing and a good b-grade piece of cheese, Death on Demand is just for you!
20 years ago father-of-two Sean McIntyre went off the rails and murdered his sherpa while on a hiking trip up Mount Everest. Delusional with altitude sickness he mistook the sherpa for a Yeti and brutally murdered him in what he believed to be self-defense. Back at home thing’s aren’t going much better for him: troubled by the unintentional murder and slowly losing touch with reality he snaps during a Thanksgiving dinner and murders his wife, 2 daughters and his mother-in-law before hanging himself. 20 years later college student Richard Sachs is planning on having a little fun on Halloween. In a manner very similar to Halloween: Resurrection (minus the iconic Michael Myers) Richard is setting up the old McIntyre house with cameras and daring 3 couples to stay in it on Halloween night with the winning couple winning a $5000 reward. ‘Cause nothing can go wrong when you spend Halloween in a house that was the scene of a tragic mass murder, right?
So into our little haunted suburban house wanders Darla and Biff, our sympathetic and likeable couple. What Darla does with her life is left unanswered but what we do know is that she’s handy with a pack of Tarot cards and knows her way around a Ouija board. Biff is a likeable jock who’s recently been kicked off the local college team and is taking part in the webcast in hopes of winning the money to replace his scholarship. Our second couple is Tammy and Brad, the standard muscles and no-brains combo. Tammy is blonde, constantly horny and protective of her man in a Jerry Springer, white trash kinda way. Brad, big and jockish, is having problems in the bedroom after he took a direct hit from Biff during a game. To round the group off is Haydn, an emo nerd with lesbian tendencies who speaks out of her nose. Her partner couldn’t take part in all the fun so in her place is Velvet Luv, a porn star who’s not shy of anything. Richard offered her a $500 bonus for anyone she manages to have sex with. You know, to liven things up a little.
The rules of the game: each couple will be given different clues scattered around the house and the first couple to find all the clues and find the key to the front door wins the $5000 prize. But it’s Halloween and they’re on the internet and there’s a porn star in the room so, to liven things up, the group whips out a Ouija board and conjures up the pissed off spirit of Sean McIntyre. Still in the confused state he was in when he died the remarkably solid spirit begins to roam around the house looking for the Yeti that’s determined to stop him from reaching the peak of Everest. Armed with all the necessary ice climbing equipment he manages to make quick and gruesome work of the kids he comes across. Of course it’s quite easy to find a victim when they handcuff themselves to the bed and make loud and strange comments while banging in the bathroom. Can Darla use the small print in hell’s contracts of the damned to save the group? Can Velvet keep herself in her top for more than 5 minutes? Can Richard break even on this little venture with his group being killed off one by one? All will be revealed by watching Death on Demand.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Sherpas are only 4 feet tall.
- A simpler name for a Ouija board is a Talking Board.
- Ghosts are completely solid and subject to pain like normal humans.
- Say ANYTHING bad about a man’s penis and he’ll think you’re calling him gay.
- Webcasts will bring out everyone’s homoerotic fantasies.
- Lesbian sex will bring an entire campus together in a way that nothing else could.
- Ghosts see things in a kind of greyish blue.
- Everyone on a football team is stone-cold gay. Porn stars are doing their best to fix this.
DEATH ON DEMAND TRAILER