WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There’s nothing quite like a movie made to capitalise on the general populace’s fear in the face of a worldwide swine flu pandemic. There’s also nothing quite like a movie made to capitalise on the general populace’s fear in the face of a worldwide swine flu pandemic that fails miserably at its objective. A note to the director: in order to make this kind of movie, where the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance and our future rests in the hands of a few brave scientists, there needs to be an atmosphere of tension. We need to care that humanity might be wiped out. We shouldn’t be bored to the point where the swine flu seems like the easier option than sitting through the remaining bit of the movie. Just a thought – use it, don’t use it.
It’s a well-known fact that women with enormous mansions, wild ambition and a bank balance greater than that of some third world countries often dream about world domination as a means of further increasing their social profile. Danita Herrington is no different, and she has one doozy of a plan up her sleeve. She’s hired Dr Gravamen, one of those dark and brooding doctors, and is paying him exorbitant amounts of money to develop a particularly strong strain of the H1N1 virus that she can release on the world. As the infection takes hold and people begin to panic she’ll miraculously come up with the cure and be hailed as a hero to all mankind whilst making a tidy little profit on the side. Not that she has delusions of grandeur or anything.
Danita’s not exactly thrilled with the good doctor’s work, however. With test subjects only dying in a period of 26 days or so she’s pushing him to come up with a much faster and crippling strain. To help shift the project along he hires Malcolm Burr, a blonde and studly doctor with a peculiar looking face. A brilliant man with a lot of field experience, Burr thinks he’s being brought on board to help develop vaccines against swine flu. His field experience exposed him to people dying deaths that look more like they contracted the Ebola virus than swine flu and he’s determined to do his best so that no one else should ever have to suffer a death like those he’s seen. He’s also the only person to question the good doctor’s methods of deliberately mutating H1N1 samples to create particularly virulent strains of the virus without concocting antidotes for them, something that the rest of the staff find nothing strange with.
Of course this whole plan falls to shit when one of the human guinea pigs decides to make a break for it. As a hooker she’s experienced in taking on groups of men and easily overpowers the hired goons and the good doctor’s creepy assistant with the synthesized voice. After climbing through one of the air ducts and into the main lab where the staff are relaxing she’s shot in the head by the creepy assistant. As jets of blood shoot all over the room the various members of staff are exposed to the latest H1N1 strain, forcing the good doctor (who’s been watching everything through the lab’s hidden camera system) to put the facility on lockdown to prevent anyone with the virus from escaping. As the crew become more and more sick and the doctor uses this as one great opportunity to test of the strength of the new strain our poor, trapped Dr Burr must do what he can to either cure himself and his fellow captives or find a way to break the lockdown and escape.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- There’s nothing like a nice bubble bath with champagne, strawberries, soft music and live video stream to a tortured human guinea pig to wind down after a long day.
- Doctors must do what they are paid to do, even if it violently breaks the Hippocratic Oath.
- The best way to stop aggressive viral mutations is to beat nature to it and mutate the virus yourself.
- A single door really isn’t enough security to keep a prisoner with a deadly virus safely contained.
- There’s no real rush to make vaccines for the horrible viral mutations you produce.
- The ‘ladies first’ rule can only be ignored when climbing through air ducts.
- It is necessary for every doctor to have a very creepy, white-haired lackey.
- Doctors and their creepy, white-haired lackeys should always have a strongly homoerotic relationship.
VIRUS X TRAILER
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Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 5.6 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I love zombie movies: there’s something about the world coming to an end at the hands (and teeth) of hordes of the undead that I just find highly appealing. Prior to this movie, however, I’d never given much thought to the zombies themselves and how they might feel about their role in bringing society to its knees. Afterall, zombies seem like quite simple creatures in that they have relatively simple needs: a few brains every now and then to snack on and they’re perfectly happy. Or so we’ve been led to believe. Aaah! Zombies!! (a.k.a. Wasting Away) seeks to show the zombie apocalypse from the zombies’ perspective, revealing a far more complex and touching side to the undead that I’d ever expected from a walking corpse.
It was just another night for Mike, Vanessa, Tim and Cindy, hanging out at the local bowling alley where Tim and Cindy work. Normal of course, except for the barrel of highly toxic experimental waste that accidentally rolled through town and landed up outside next to the beer kegs and ice cream mixture. With the war in Iraq dragging on a little the army has been attempting to bio-engineer the next generation of soldiers that can be sent it to kick ass and get back out in time for lunch. Unfortunately, rather than being turned into mega-soldiers, it turned the test subjects into zombies with a taste for the human brain. When the military truck taking the barrels of waste to a dumping site crashes it sends the barrels flying through the town, which is how it comes to contaminate our little group’s softserve machine. When the kids mix the contaminated ice cream with beer the stage is set for a very entertaining evening as they join the ranks of the undead.
This is where all our assumptions regarding zombies are put to the test: after eating the contaminated ice cream the guys and girls wake up not realising that anything’s happened to them. Something that I never gave thought to until now was how zombies perceived themselves and their fellow undead friends: it turns out that they don’t see themselves any differently. To one another they look just as they did when they were alive and the horrid, brain-eating, rotting corpse version is only seen by the living. What seems to confuse them the most is that, given that a zombie’s brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, the living tend to speed up and speak a lot faster than usual. Given that the kids aren’t aware of any of this, they are understandably confused as to why they can be shot repeatedly and keep on going.
Of course the only person they manage to find that they can speak to is an equally confused soldier with part of a motorbike jammed in his abdomen. While he agrees that he and the kids have come into contact with something the military was working on, the conclusion he reaches is completely wrong. He thinks that they’ve been transformed into ‘super soldiers’ and that the rest of the town is infected with something far more deadly. Since he’s a soldier, people are shooting at them and Mike’s snacking on people’s brains as he goes along, the kids buy into what he tells them. Now they need to try and survive by ducking around the military personnel, killing cooking staff and keeping people so drunk that they can’t tell the difference between a living person and a walking corpse with neon green veins in hopes of making it to a better place where zombies can live without fear of persecution from the living.
It’s a story of love, bravery, struggle, discovering yourself, overcoming adversity, achieving independence and the many different ways of preparing a brain for dinner and there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this movie. Go and watch Aaah! Zombies!! for a very fun and enjoyable look at the other side of the zombie apocalypse 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Kittens explode in the hands of the undead.
- Plain brains are fine, but brains in a taco are the best.
- Avoid dairy at all costs – booze is what will save you in the end.
- Zombie sex is complicated by the fact that the necessary parts keep falling off.
- Zombies are remarkably good truck drivers.
- Zombies are amazing motivational speakers.
- In the military “blurrrgh-arrrrr-raaaaah” is a good enough description of a truck’s cargo to get it through a check point.
AAAH! ZOMBIES!! TRAILER
1983 : Year of Release : 2009
Horror / Thriller : Genre : Horror / Thriller
5.7 / 10 : IMDB Rating : 5 / 10
Surprise! : Level of Awful : Low
Welcome to the B-Horror Blog’s first ever B-Horror Throwdown! The premise is simple: take a cheesy horror movie fitting of this site, find its remake and pit the two against one another. The rules are simple: the original movie is the benchmark that the remake is compared against – is it true to the original? Does it improve on the original? What new elements have been incorporated? Does the remake manage to raise the bar or dive into new depths of cheesy goodness? So many questions to answer and in the end only one can be the winner and the loser needs to have the crap beaten out of it. For the first Throwdown! I have chosen to pit The House on Sorority Row against Sorority Row. The reasoning behind this is that I’d seen the original about a year ago but hadn’t gotten around to watching the remake. This provides the perfect opportunity to judge the new movie against an original that I’ve already formed an opinion of. Plus I got the original in a 4-in-1 bargain pack and that means it automatically qualifies for a place on the B-Horror Blog 🙂
To begin with, these two movies have very little in common with one another other than the premise that they are built on. In House Mrs Slater, the housemother of the Pi Theta sorority, is a bitch that the girls in the house detest. They become particularly pissed off when she forbids them from having a final party for their graduation and decide that they should pull a good old-fashioned sorority prank on her. This prank involves taking her walking stick and leaving it in the middle of the swamp-like swimming pool and holding a gun to her and making her dive in. Lead bitch Vicki (Eileen Davidson of later Days of our Lives fame), however, decides that it will be even more fun if they load the gun and fire some shots off for extra effect. Since one of the great rules of horror is that things like this should never go according to plan one of the bullets lands up hitting Mrs Slater and killing her. The girls decide that they should dispose of the body so that the four years of college education they’ve just completed doesn’t go to waste. This said and done and their party well under way the girls are stalked by a killer intent on taking out those people who killed Mrs Slater (or did they?).
Sorority Row follows its predecessor in that it’s also based around the prank-gone-wrong scenario. This time the girls of Theta Pi sorority (it’s not the same movie if you switch the Greek letters around) are planning on getting even: Megan, one of the sisters, has been cheated on by her boyfriend Garrett. Since being in a sorority apparently means that anything and everything should be done to uphold sisterly honour (I’m not familiar with the Greek system so I’m really just running with it here) the other sisters Jessica (lead bitch), Cassidy (loyal and brave), Chugs (slutty drunk and Garrett’s sister), Claire (shy wannabe of the Asian persuasion) and Ellie (shy redhead) pretend to give Garrett pills to drug Megan to ‘get her in the mood’ (<- Right there! See it? Just set the women’s movement back by at least 20 years!). When Megan begins throwing up everywhere (part of the plan) the girls and Garrett drive out to an old abandoned mine where they pretend that they need to dispose of the body by cutting it up. For fun this is all being recorded on a cellphone. Jessica tells everyone to go and find sharp stones to cut the body up (part of the plan) but Garrett, understandably freaked out, takes a tire iron and punctures Megan’s lung so that her body won’t float in the lake (NOT part of the plan). They then need to actually dispose of the body by throwing it down the abandoned mine’s shaft. 8 months later as the sisters prepare to graduate a killer stalks Theta Pi’s final party killing off the girls and miscellaneous others. Like the girls from House, did Jen & Co. actual kill Megan?
So what are we left with? The House on Sorority Row, much to my surprise, is actually a good movie so long as you can see past the 80s-ness of it. It’s a different take on the slasher genre and it plays out well with all of the girls playing their parts well. And it has clowns – anything with clowns is scary. Sorority Row also isn’t a bad movie, but unfortunately it’s no where near as good as the first one. Ironically it’s the fact that it’s meant to be a ‘re-imagining’ of House that’s its primary problem: had it been given a different name and not leaned on the original it would have been a fairly decent watch. I liked seeing Princess Leah as the housemother Mrs Crenshaw and I liked that the characters were meant to be somewhat related to the characters in the original. I thought that the way they incorporated Mrs Slater’s walking stick in one of the scenes was very well done. I certainly didn’t like Rumer Willis in the role whiny, irritating, crying-every-three-seconds Ellie and the twist to find out who the killer is left me cold. While Sorority Row had some fantastic kills and it certainly brought up the sleaze level to a point an 80s movie just couldn’t aim for I still feel as though it leaves you wanting a little more.
The rules of Throwdown! state that a winner needs to be picked and the loser have the crap beaten out of it. While House on Sorority Row was fun and original, Sorority Row wasn’t unique enough to be a movie in its own right and not close enough to the original to be a decent remake. House on Sorority Row wins this round!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You can perform a Caesarean section with nothing but a surgical knife and a candle.
- Contrary to modern times it was considered the norm in the 80s for men to wear micro shorts and for women to wear manly shirts.
- 80s sex involved a lot of groaning with very little movement.
- Two towels are heavy enough to sink a human corpse.
- In case of emergency reach for the knife in the doll’s head.
- A willingness to dispose of your friend’s body shows how much you love your family.
- Being a member of a sorority is similar to making a blood oath with the devil.
- Murdering is a wonderful couple’s activity.
- On a psycho scale 50 crazy bitches is the rough equivalent of one serial killer.
THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW TRAILER
SORORITY ROW TRAILER
Year of Release: 2001
Genre: Thriller / Horror
IMDB Rating: 2.9 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I like to think that I’m a kind person and, where possible, give a movie a break. This was too painful, however, and the only thing that saves it from having a rating of ‘Requires Post-Film Lobotomy’ is the fact that, although it was terrible, I was more bored than anything else. There is a vague attempt at a plot line and it does all try to come together and I give the director great credit for achieving at least that much. But for all it may get points for that this film contains some of the worst acting and horrible CGI effects I have ever seen (and I’ve seen Snakes on a Train). The movie itself is divided into four sections: the main arc features three teenagers trapped in the woods forced to sit around a campfire with a park ranger (who, judging by the way he speaks, is clearly a stroke victim with a bad attitude) listening to ‘scary’ stories, which make up the three other segments.
Story #1 starts in a mental institution where some ethically questionable doctors are conducting experiments on pain thresholds using the mental patients as guinea pigs. Now I don’t know who thought testing violent experiments on clinically violent and unstable people would be a good idea but needless to say one of the patients escapes, kills his doctor and goes on to become a grounds keeper at a local high school. Having been rendered a little slow in the brain department by the experiments he becomes the focus of taunts by four jocks (look out for Perez Hilton as one of them. Oh how I laughed…). When the jocks are stopped from beating the grounds keeper up they decide that the next best thing to do is kill him during their lunch break and, armed with hockey sticks, chase him into the woods. Of course this has BAD IDEA written all over it and soon the tables are turned as our insane grounds keeper begins to take out the jocks one by one and teach them a lesson in good manners.
Story #2 gives the audience the best lesson in saying no to drugs. Here we are given 3 fresh idiots to watch and they have apparently been going on a little murderous rampage across the good ol’ US of A. While in a little diner in the back and beyond they see an Indian come in for coffee and decide to murder him, which they promptly do after following him home. Now the Indian had been smoking something weed-like that had led him to have some terrible CGI hallucinations and the kids decide that they also need to smoke it. This leads them to have even worse CGI hallucinations. Somehow, in what is admittedly a very confused storyline, the Indian turns out to not be dead and ages the kids until they are about 80. The segment ends with them enjoying an early bird special.
The final segment brings us yet another crop of freshly farmed morons and by far the most confusing story in the movie. Here, again out in the back and beyond, we have four teenagers, 2 boys and 2 girls, who are looking to have a little fun. 1 couple are still virgins, 1 guy is a horny jock and the other girl is his ex-girlfriend (or just girlfriend, the movie switches between the two). Now the ex-girlfriend manages to convince the other girl to come up with a revenge plot (revenge for what exactly, or what they plan to do, is never really explained) for the two guys since virgin girl thinks someone is sneaking around outside. After teasing the boys with the promise of a lesbian strip show and a threesome or foursome the boys are blindfolded and told to find the girls with only their hands. Unfortunately for the group someone is indeed wandering around outside (and it’s not just the dumb deputy sheriff who crops up occasionally) and, one by one, the teenagers are taken out.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Killing sprees need to be planned around afternoon band practice.
- Schools don’t have teachers working in them.
- Football practice is best done in a grove of trees.
- Doctors always conduct experiments in the dark.
- Wolves howl like the pterodactyls in Jurassic Park.
- Killing an Indian sucks the life right out of you.
- Tequila shots now qualify as cocktails.
- You can drink tequila without taking the cap off the bottle.
- You can blast things onto the Internet.
- Revenge is a dish best served in a revealing miniskirt.
Year of Release: 2009
IMDB Rating: 3.4 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT ITS ABOUT:
When nobody bothers to make a Wikipedia page for a movie it really tells you something. Zombie Women of Satan is also a misleading title since Satan, like the plot-line, is nowhere to be found.
A travelling group of freaks, headed up by Pervo the Clown, go to a rural farm to take part in a webcast interview to help them gain more followers and make the public aware of their awesome freakishness. Unbeknownest to our little group, however, this same rural farm is also home to a combined cult for women / zombie research laboratory. When the zombie virus is mistakenly added to a bowl of punch women, with breasts flying, are sent on a murderous, cannibalistic rampage that only this little band of circus freaks can stop. To add a little suspense the main kick-ass female of the group, Red Zander, discovers her long-lost sister in amongst the women of the cult. The group must then attempt to save the sister while avoiding the mad doctor, his weird and mad children, his weirdly demented and tied-up wife (or mother, or wife / mother – the movie isn’t really clear on this one), as well as the now-zombified members of this odd little cult.
But never fear, dear viewer: to ensure that the tension of this movie doesn’t all become too much, it is broken up by a good 10 minutes of a midget named Zeus taking a shit in the woods.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- In a world filled with homophobia, the perverted clown and gay cowboy couple will never be allowed to know just how long their love could last.
- When done in the name of science, having sex with a zombie is completely ethical.
- It is also entirely appropriate to show said sex scene with the zombie to your mother (or grandmother, or mother / girlfriend or mother / grandmother / sex slave – again, this is a grey area).
- Daddy issues will lead girls to start and organise cults to get their father’s attention.
- A good zombie research scientist is confident enough in his work to not keep a large supply of guns and bullets on hand.
- Clowns have a really bad aim when armed with a chainsaw.
- Midgets, like bears, really do shit in the woods.
- Before fighting off a pack of zombies, be sure to remove all of the protective armour you happened to have on at the time.
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