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.
DON’T LOOK UP TRAILER
BUY DON’T LOOK UP AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 2009
Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi / Action
IMDB Rating: 2.7 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: The B-Horror Blog has its beginnings in multiple episodes of the ever-amazing Mystery Science Theater 3000 and one episode that I have never stopped laughing through is Rick Sloane’s Hobgoblins. In no way do I think that I can match up to the almightiness that was Mike, Servo and (my favourite) Crow but when I heard that a sequel to Hobgoblins had been made it was just too much for me to resist, and I am absolutely blown away. It’s quite something when, before the plot line even kicks in, a movie is trying to accomplish so much: Hobgoblins 2 attempts to be a sequel, a remake and a re-imagining all at the same time. To do one of these things properly is hard enough when you have good material to work with and the new movie can quickly descend into a pile of crap (I’m looking at you Rob Zombie), so you can only imagine what happens when you try to do all 3 with crappy source material. SO MUCH AWFUL! But awful in a good way, the kind you can laugh at and gaze at in wonder.
So what are we working with? Hobgoblins 2 appears to take place after the original movie. Mr McCreedy is locked away in a mental asylum after blowing up the movie studio he worked at as a security guard in an attempt to kill the hobgoblins. Enter Kevin, Kyle, Nick, Amy and Daphne from the first movie (different actors, same outfits) who are now in college. The confusing part is that they never seemed to have met Mr McCreedy despite Kevin working with him in the first movie. I imagine this is the re-imagining part kicking in. The kids appear to be psychology students at whatever college may be around this part of the world and their professor is taking them for a tour of the local insane asylum. Here they are introduced to Mr McCreedy who tells them that if you say the word ‘hobgoblins’ three times the creatures will appear and make your worst fears come true (this appears to be a watered down system that was originally perfected by Bloody Mary). How this popped up in conversation I’m not sure but the kids leave to go home while the busty nurses at the asylum run around drugging the hell out of their patients.
As the patients are put to bed Professor Abernathy, the kids’ lecturer, goes back to his office and tinkers with a new machine that he has built: a mind reading device that projects onto a screen whatever suppressed memories the chair’s occupant may have. This is so that patients with post-traumatic stress disorder can face their fears (apparently). Abernathy is a fool, however, and decides to not heed McCreedy’s Bloody Mary Lite warning and says the word ‘hobgoblins’ 3 times. Out of nowhere the hobgoblins appear (same puppets as the first movie – Rick Sloane must’ve kept them in storage for just this movie) and strap Abernathy into the chair while everything takes on a greenish glow. Driven to insanity, a policeman in questionable shorts who appears to be enjoying his baton a little too much is sent to Kevin’s house to inform him and the others that their professor has gone insane. While this is going on Kevin begins to see the hobgoblins outside his house and begins to worry about his own sanity while still pondering what he should do if the creatures are real (this despite the fact that the same character spent most of the first movie fighting the creatures off). What follows on for a while are rehashes of scenes from the first movie coupled with a few new spins on old concepts from the original. Look out for Fantazia, Kyle’s would-be imaginary killer from the first film, who now plays the owner of a XXX cam site. While not true to the original Fantazia still refuses to dress in anything other than shiny spandex and leopard print (occasionally opting for green jelly / jello down her bra).
Now while Kyle is busy maxing out his credit card on Fantazia Kevin begins to encounter the hobgoblins more and more. Nick and Daphne are quite vacant upstairs so their answer to everything is to either practice rake combat (Nick) or dress in every colour of the rainbow and dance around like a tool (Daphne). Most of the scenes are pulled directly out of the original, rework the original ones slightly or make fun of the original and/or MST3K. My problem with this lies mainly with the characters: in the original, there was a sense that the actors were genuinely incompetent and really didn’t know what they were doing. In this movie you still have actors that are completely incompetent and don’t know what they’re doing but now they’re trying to be even more useless to emulate the original characters and put an 80s spin on it at the same time.
I now fully agree with Mike, Servo and Crow: I think that Rick Sloane officially went for an operation in which they removed his brain and replaced it with rat droppings. It’s the only thing that makes sense and justifies this movie’s existence 🙂 On the up side, I think this is the movie that has taught me the most lessons so far:
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You can make a machete out of a juice box.
- Hobgoblins are a great therapy aide.
- Mental homes use Thorazine by the gallon.
- Porn sites will steal your soul. Literally.
- The ‘Satan vs Joan of Arc is the voice in my head’ debate is ongoing.
- Rake combat isn’t cool in the 21st century.
- To be smart you need to carry round enormous books at all times.
- Running a mental asylum and playing Theme Hospital are virtually the same thing.
- Lobotomy patients get to keep their frontal lobes in a jar.
- Universities, mental asylums and general hospitals are usually combined in a single building.
- Women who run sex websites want a man that’ll keep their supplies of spandex and leopard print high.
HOBGOBLINS 2 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: 2007
IMDB Rating: 4.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
THIS POST CONTAINS STRONG ADULT CONTENT
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Sweet baby Jesus what just happened? I apologise profusely to Bad Biology for every bad word I said about it because this is so, SO much worse. I came across this movie after reading a review for the original Black Devil Doll from Hell over at The Deadly Doll’s House and thought that it sounded just too good to be true. After doing a little research and not wanting to rip off another blogger’s good work I put every film-finding skill I had into hunting down this piece of crap, a very loose remake of the 80’s original. I say loose because, judging from what I’ve read, the original had a storyline of some sort with some evil doll sex thrown into the mixture. THIS movie, however, is something else entirely. It’s quite remarkable that one movie can be so disgusting and so offensive to ABSOLUTELY everyone that anyone can walk away from it feeling insulted. In a nutshell it’s and hour and a bit’s worth of softcore porn veiled in a b-grade horror movie disguise. But since it’s my mission to watch some of the worst horrors out there I give myself a pat on the back for making it all the way through this one.
Heather, our rather busty lead, is bored. After flipping through a bunch of channels and finding nothing interesting on other than cock socks for sale and some guy named Mubia Abul-Jama being electrocuted for the murder of 15 Caucasian women (emphasis on Caucasian – this becomes Heather’s big word of the day and, like any child who’s learned something new, will say it every chance she gets), she decides to play with a Ouija board to pass the time (as so many of us do). As often happens at the stroke of midnight when serial killers are being executed the Ouija board vomits up the soul of Mubia and places it in the very Caucasian dummy (if Heather can say it a thousand times so can I 🙂 ) and transforms it into a very black dummy. Within instants of talking about his various sadistic murders Heather falls madly in love with Mubia and the two begin a very strange and graphic relationship with one another.
Despite the beauty of their relationship any man (as we are told) will eventually get bored and begin to show some interest in other women. Mubia decides that he needs to spread himself around a little more but promises that Heather will always be his #1 bitch and, enjoying his more tender side, Heather promises (after having the crap beaten out of her) to call some of her equally slutty Caucasian friends and have them come over so that Mubia can take advantage of them. After devising their cunning plan (not really – you don’t need a cunning plan when every female character has a bag of frozen peas for a brain) Heather’s friends Natasha, Candi, Buffy and Bambi pull up with breasts thrusting and proceed to dance and wash their car in a very seductive manner before coming inside. After some chitchat and feeling one another up Heather keeps to her end of the deal and goes to McDonald’s where she will eat her weight in burgers while Mubia satiates his lust with, on, over, under, on top of and next to her friends.
Of course, as the saying goes, once a serial killer, always a serial killer. Stemming from his lack of self-esteem at having become a dummy Mubia decides that he will have to kill Heather’s friends before having sex with them for fear of having them reject him. This is a relatively simple process in a house full of pointy counter tops where every woman is naked and, for one or other reason, oiled up and incredibly slippery. As a lesson to us all, however, the movie does teach us that even when being chased and hunted by a demonic doll if a guy pulls his pants down any woman will go weak at the knees and grant him his every sexual desire. We also learn that once these desires have been met a demonic doll will kill you and make a human pyramid on the Twister board that’s lying in the living room. As her friends are bumped off one-by-one and Heather eventually gets home after clearing out McDonald’s supply of food she is understandably upset that Mubia took it a step further than she had agreed to by killing her friends instead of just having sex with them. It is now up to our busty heroine to put a stop to his rampage of sexual terror once and for all.
A note to myself: If, in the future, your reasoning behind watching a remake is ‘now that we’re in 2011 standards have relaxed and there’ll be more obscenity and gore in it’, please take a moment and think about what you’re doing.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- All answering machine messages should be made in your best porn star voice.
- Along with magazines every coffee table should have a Ouija board on it.
- Saying ‘nigger’ 100 times a day is a very romantic gesture and will make Caucasian women fall madly in love with you in moments.
- Nobody thinks having sex with a doll is odd.
- Nobody can distinguish between a midget and a ventriloquist’s dummy.
- When you get out of a car you should always do a XXX-rated version of the Pussycat Doll’s ‘When I Grow Up’ dance routine.
- A car isn’t clean unless it’s been washed with breasts.
- It is quite common for women to check the quality of their boob jobs by fondling one another.
- A game of twister inevitably leads to some lesbian experimentation.
- Women should always pull their breasts out before shooting a demonic doll.
- A regular hand pistol holds, on average, 372 bullets.
Black Devil Doll Trailer