WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Few things in life are certain but we all know that Death, at some point, will come and take us away. What this movie teaches us, however, is that Death is very fickle and contractually bound to 101 different laws, making it somewhat easier to escape Death. I have also learned that there is no such thing as a painless death; when the Grim Reaper comes to collect your soul every death is brutally and dismemberingly violent. With all that in mind it must be said that this was a very fun movie to watch, if only for how truly daft it is. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh pick this one out of the nearest bargain bin you can find.
As with so many other tales involving the Grim Reaper ours begins in a strip club. Rachel is a hard-working girl putting in her hours to try and make a better life for her and her boyfriend Liam. Liam’s studying to become a doctor and is about to start his residency. With student loans being what they are Rachel’s gonna strip the bills away, something that Liam isn’t incredibly happy with. When she leaves work on this fateful night she was innocently standing in a back alley waiting for a taxi to come and take her home. Sadly the taxi showed up and plowed into her, leaving her at Death’s door. When the taxi driver gets out and collapses Rachel tries to run to him but a mysterious stranger tells her to stay in the light. The two are rushed to hospital to have their injuries seen to. Once there Rachel starts to see strange things but nobody’s quite ready to believe that Death himself is wandering the corridors and brutally slaying the souls of patients.
The only logical thing to do in this kind of situation is to send Rachel off to the nut house without informing anyone where she is. Now, St Joseph’s in one of the more bottom of the barrel mental asylums. It has 6 patients, all of whom claim that the Grim Reaper is stalking them, 1 doctor who keeps having mild heart attacks, no electricity and food left over from the Apollo 7 space mission. No one knows why they’ve been put in here but the doctor is more than willing to taser the hell out of anyone who questions his methods. Everything’s going as well as can be expected in such an environment until one night when the Reaper shows up to collect the souls of these 6 people. The question is, why is he after them and how are they going to escape from this dreary hell hole?
The reason Death is after this unfortunate bunch is actually quite simple. When Rachel was hit by the taxi she was actually meant to die and, likewise, everyone else in the asylum has met with some unfortunate incident that was meant to kill them. By not dying Fate has been cheated and the Grim Reaper is now pissed off and coming to collect the souls that he feels are owed to him (*cough* Final Destination *cough cough*). It turns out that the doctor was also meant to have died a long time ago. Being a chain smoker he’s developed lung cancer that has spread throughout his body but, Death being what it is, the good doctor managed to strike a deal whereby he’ll bring all those people Death wants to the asylum so they’re easier to catch in exchange for him being allowed to live. With Liam desperately trying to find Rachel the group must devise a way to once again change their fate and send Death on his merry little way before he manages to slice them into wafer thin little pieces.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Strippers take their work very seriously and don’t like people making them feel guilty about it.
- The wives of prominent doctors often started out as strippers.
- Strippers have no need for a pulse or functioning major organs.
- Nurses can just walk up to anyone and sedate them against their will.
- Insane asylums don’t need staff or electricity to run smoothly.
- A mild tasering will make a remarkably agreeable person out of anyone.
- It’s never a good idea to let a blind girl run off on her own.
- You can’t electrocute Death.
- Death subcontracts part of his reaping out to cowardly mortals.
- Medical students are trained to shout people back from the dead.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I’ve watched many a bad movie in my time, but rarely do you come across a movie as sneaky as this one. I actually saw this one a few years ago, quite a bit before I started this blog. I thought of reviewing it when I just started everything up but couldn’t remember it well enough so I left it. One day is one day and I’m getting ready for a b-movie evening when I come across a movie called Sickle in one of my little boxes of discount horror and decided to give it a watch. Turned out to be this movie under a different name. Sneaky little hobbitses! Unlike a fine wine I actually think this one got worse with time, but let me first describe it to you and then you can decide whether you’d want to give this one a spin.
As with any slasher we need a little back story to get us going so we first need to go back 10 years in time. A rather slutty girl has decided to drag her boyfriend out to the strangely remote slaughterhouse to have a little fun. For some or other reason the idea of having sex right next to the spot where chickens are de-feathered is just too damn arousing for her and her purple velvet thong to resist so, despite some objections from the boyfriend, they make their way inside anyway. Of course, just because the slaughterhouse is out in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean that it’s abandoned; if b-movies have taught me anything it’s that the exact opposite is usually the case. This is the slaughterhouse of Marty Sickle (apt name), a man who doesn’t take kindly to college kids having sex near his chicken bath. To take care of the problem he stabs the guy in the back while the two are going at it and then has his way with the girl. The girl then summons every jock she can find to lynch Marty and get back at him for what he did. The legend of Marty Sickle then passes into local folklore…
More to the point the story makes its way into the minds of a group of dumb jocks and even dumber bimbos. These are your typical first year college students who are somewhere in their mid-30s but trying to look a lot younger than they actually are. Feeling that good grades aren’t all that necessary in life they decide to have a party before some of them go on to the old slaughterhouse for some silly fun. What this movie then tries to teach you is that all you need for there to be a party are a few loose women prepared so experiment with their sexuality in front of a group of strangers. This is just as well, because the party doesn’t have an awful lot more going for it (who keeps a TV on the floor?) After panning around the room for about 20 minutes the director eventually decided that it was time to get on with the main point of the movie and it’s off to the slaughterhouse we go!
Much like the tale of Bloody Mary the legend goes that if you go to the exact spot where Marty Sickle died and mutter a little rhyme a few times his ghost will come back from the other side and go after anyone who dares to enter his old domain. This is jumping the gun a little since there is a very crucial point that needs to be made about this movie. Filmed on a budget of $250 000 there clearly wasn’t a lot of money available for a decent space to actually do the filming. To counteract this the actors move from room to room and scene to scene at an agonizingly slow rate. When they actually do summon the ghost of Marty Sickle back they even try to escape from him at the same rate. The only reason that they don’t die very quickly is that Sickle himself moves at a snail’s pace, but to be fair he has been dead for 10 years so the others really don’t have an excuse. The question of course is that when you yourself walk like a geriatric and you’re being chased by a ghost whose speed and stealth are the equivalent of a pregnant hippo what are the chances of this little group of friends and lovers making it out of this situation alive?
Apart from the horrifyingly slow pace that this movie moves at I’m glad I (re)watched it because it was enough to give the Breast-O-Meter a good try out without overloading it on its first go 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It is possible to smoke weed for 48 hours straight and feel very few side effects.
- Women who can’t find their boyfriends routinely go into occupied bathrooms to see if he’s there.
- The police still refer to weed as ‘wacky tobacky’.
- Ghosts are remarkably solid.
- After your boyfriend sacrifices himself so that you can escape the best plan is to run back into the haunted building.
- A combination of wearing silk underwear and being pregnant virtually guarantees your survival during a ghost attack.
- The number of deaths resulting from bleeding ankles is tragically underestimated.
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Year of Release: 2006
IMDB Rating: 5 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
In my journey to watch some of the most horrifying horrors ever made, I occasionally manage to lay my hands on something that doesn’t look very promising but turns out to be quite enjoyable. To this end I have decided to start a ‘Surprise!’ Level of Awful for movies that beat the odds and managed to come being rather fun to watch. I rate that if we can celebrate the bad, we might as well celebrate the good as well and that is why I have chosen to begin this category with Wicked Little Things. Zombies are my favourite niche in the horror genre and, in my opinion, there is nothing more frightening than children. So combine the two and watch as zombie children hunt down person after person and you have a fantastically, gory treat on your hands!
This tale of pint-sized terror begins in 1913 in Addytown, a town largely built on the mining industry. Over at the Carlton mine the owner uses immigrant children as his slave labour, sending them into the little nooks and crannies that regular miners can’t get into. As with many mines that operate outside the legal system and aren’t overly concerned with safety an explosion goes off and a large portion of the mine caves in and many of the children are buried alive. With the mine’s closed the town slowly became deserted but, for those that remained, the children’s deaths became a part of local legend and at night you can still see them walking around in the woods. This is the town that Karen Tunny and her two daughters Sarah (Scout Taylor-Compton from Rob Zombie’s attack on Halloween) and Emma are moving to after the death of Karen’s husband following a prolonged battle with a terminal illness. Karen has no money and few possessions, but fortunately her husband left her a creepy old house filled with evil-looking toys out in the middle of nowhere right near the old Carlton mine…
As normally happens in this kind of situation Sarah, the teenager, manages to find a group of rebels that she can hang out with and Emma develops a not-so imaginary friend named Mary. As Karen attempts to bring the old abandoned home into better order the children begin to make their presence more known, especially when they attack Sarah and her friends while they are out hotboxing in the middle of a field. Thrown into this mixture is William Carlton, the last surviving descendant of the original owner of the Carlton mine. As he moves through Addytown buying up more and more of the property for development the children’s attacks become more and more violent and Emma’s imaginary friend begins to take Emma away for longer and longer periods of time. With the help of Mr Hanks, a local who has been sacrificing animals to the cannibalistic children in an attempt to keep them under control, Karen must attempt to save her daughters and herself from the ever-angrier group of ghostly children and try to find out why they are so angry and what it will take to make them rest in peace before the few remaining inhabitants of Addytown land up being a very undercooked burger meal for the children.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Children are amazingly competent with sticks of dynamite.
- Moving your children to a derelict old house near haunted forest after the death of their father is a great way to cheer them up.
- Teenagers have radar when it comes to finding other teenagers with weed on them.
- Every town has a group of 3 teenagers, 2 boys and 1 girl, just in case another girl needs an instant boyfriend.
- Little girls’ imaginary friends inevitably turn out to be some sort of ghostly apparition hell-bent on spilling blood.
- Burnt and rotten dolls are the customary gift of a ghost zombie to a normal girl.
- Creepy houses built next to creepy woods near an abandoned mine where dozens of children died are apparently prime property.
- Property development is a far more important endeavour than trying to stop your crew from being eaten.
- Any supernatural mystery can be solved provided you have a folktale and a box of old photos to work with.
WICKED LITTLE THINGS TRAILER
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Year of Release: 1995
IMDB Rating: 2.3 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT ITS ABOUT:
A word to the wise before attempting this movie: you are going to need good, heavy-duty boots. You will need these boots because you don’t watch this movie so much as you wade through it and end up being up to your knees in crap. While it isn’t quite Terror Toons awful, virtually everything that could go wrong did go wrong when this movie was made. And it has no respect for basic human dignity either: the man who plays the character of Walter Machen died 5 years before the movie began filming and was (badly) spliced into it. But enough of all this, let us now move onto the plot of Jack-O.
Supposedly an incredibly long time ago (1915, to be exact), Arthur Kelly lynched Walter Machen, a man accused of sorcery and of murdering some innocent town folk. Now no evil wizard goes down without exacting some kind of revenge, so he summons up from the pits of hell a demon to stalk the town of Oaksmoor Crossing and kill all those that were involved in murdering him. Sadly it appears that Walter Machen didn’t have great contacts with hell since the demon he managed to summon up, affectionately known as the Pumpkin Man, is essentially a scarecrow with a jack-o-lantern for a head. For fun the jack-o-lantern is so plastic that if you look closely enough you’re bound to find the ‘made in China’ sign on it. Nevertheless, Arthur Kelly managed to send the demon back to the depths of hell (ironically by burying it in a shallow grave), where it has lain dormant until Halloween of 1995. Please note, however, that this time line is only a rough guide since the movie starts off in an unrelated present, travels into the past, comes back to the proper present, and then frequently flashes back into the past again.
On Halloween night in 1995 three college students that are home on break decide to go off into the woods to look for the cemetery that formed part of the old Kelly Farm. After discovering some old graves they stumble upon the cross that has kept the Pumpkin Man in his grave for 80 years. They remove the cross from the ground and unleash the plastic pumpkin horror on Oaksmoor Crossing once again. Armed with his sickle and the seeming ability to teleport, the Pumpkin Man goes off in search of the descendants of Arthur Kelly.
As luck would have it, the Kellys haven’t strayed very far since the demonic days at the beginning of the century. David Kelly, his wife Linda (who constantly looks like she’s surprised) and their son Sean all live in a beautiful suburb in Oaksmoor Crossing. But come Halloween night the Pumpkin man begins to hunt down Sean as some archaic by-law in Hell’s Demon Contract (paragraph 9, section 12, note 17b) states that, if the demon fails in his original killing spree, he is legally permitted to go after the first son born five generations after the death of his original target. It is now up to David and Linda, along with babysitters Carolyn and Julie and final descendant of the Machen family tree Vivienne to finally put an end to this horror before the demon manages to capture Sean and bury him alive.
Thankfully they will have a lot of time to find Sean since the demon spends more time walking in front of the camera and then disappearing than actually doing anyone any major harm.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- A sickle has two killing settings: slight abrasion and decapitation.
- Pumpkin demons have two walking settings: teleportation and slow walk in front of camera.
- The sluttier the babysitter, the better chance your child has of surviving a demonic killing spree.
- In order to properly wash your back you need to stand in the shower and gyrate your hips a lot.
- When a strange woman starts talking to your son your natural impulse should be to invite her in for dinner.
- In is quite common, when faced with demonic evil from the pits of hell, for an aurora borealis to appear in the American midwest.
- Electricity first electrifies you and then speeds up the decomposition of your flesh.
- When a woman says she has moved to town to hunt down an 80 year-old pumpkin demon and is using your son as bait you should trust her implicitly.
- Hiding in plain sight is truly the best option. If you are the only thing with glowing orange eyes and mouth in the middle of a deserted field, nobody will notice you at all until they are right on top of you.