WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As any semi-regular visitor to this blog will know, I’m up for pretty much anything. Extraterrestrial vampire whores, sharktopodes, gay vampires, killer cartoon characters, shit monsters (no really – monsters made out of shit), I’ve seen it all and lived to tell the tale. Even with this experience under my belt, rarely have I encountered a movie as utterly banal as House of Blood (aka Chain Reaction). As often happens I could totally see what they were going for (a kind of The Village meets Triangle meets The Shawshank Redemption kind of vibe), but it was so poorly and unoriginally put together that all you’re left with is this steaming pile of self-righteous movie filled with characters fond of using big words but having no idea what they actually mean. Also, it’s a bit longer than your usual crapfest: at just over 100 minutes, it drags the pain out a lot more than most movies would dare to do.
Douglas Madsen is just a regular doctor who frequently laments the loss of his parents roughly 50 years ago when he was but a wee lad. That is until one day when Fate decides to throw him a curve ball and Douglas lands up with a set of completely different, but somehow interlinked, problems. Going out on his rounds (in a densely wooded area with no people) Douglas finds his car plowing head first into a truck transporting criminals to another prison. After a small shoot out and the brutal death of several policemen the criminals abduct Douglas, thinking that he might be useful in treating one of their own who has been shot. The criminals steal the dead policemen’s clothes and run into the forest to make their escape. Why they didn’t just POSE as policemen in the outfits I don’t understand, but this seems to be the path the director wanted to take.
When the criminals went down to the woods that day they didn’t realise they were in for a big surprise. They thought that the rundown, seemingly abandoned cottage in the middle of the forest with no electricity and hidden by a dense and mysterious fog would be their salvation; shockingly, it wasn’t. In this cozy little cottage that would’ve sent Goldilocks running for her life lives a quaint little family that speaks a dialect of Ye Olde English that would irritate the most hardened of Renaissance Fair goers. Despite the obvious language barrier between the residents’ archaic tongue and the criminals’ constant screams of “shut the fuck up!”, with a little persuasion (at gun point) the family can be rather hospitable and agree, under duress, to help the guys out with their wounded friend.
Alas, all is not as it seems with the mountain-dwelling family. It’s all been perfectly civilised up until one of the criminal’s has to have his arm amputated with a machete. Things go a little awry at this point. In a move that I’m putting down to sheer indecisiveness from the script writers, the family turns out to be a group of undead-zombie-vampire-cannibals, who Douglas has to escape from. This might have been tolerable, but the joke is that this is only half the movie. Douglas does escape, only to find himself in some bizarre loop of consciousness, and the movie decides to repeat itself. The second time around he’s accompanied by a different group of criminals, but it’s essentially just watching the same movie twice with a little tweaking here and there. In summary: no acting skills, no English language proficiency, no shame.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Being shot in the arm usually means that the whole thing has to be amputated.
- ‘Friendly fire’ refers to friends getting together to gun down policemen.
- Statistically there is a one in a billion chance of a doctor crashing into a prisoner transit van.
- Sheep remain remarkably calm whilst you slit their throats with a blunt knife.
- To hell with salt – pour blood over your food, it’s just as tasty.
- You should live your life in such a way that the Count de Sade himself would envy you.
- Sociopathic lusts greatly outweigh psychopathic social obligations.
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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.
TRAILER PARK OF TERROR TRAILER
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Year of Release: 1987
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 4.3 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s very easy to tell a movie that was made in the days before the Internet and Wikipedia became readily available in the majority of people’s households. You could throw phrases like ‘Lumeria’ and ‘5 million-year-old civilisation’ around and nobody would have thought twice about it because very few people would have taken the time afterwards to go to the library and check the information out. An historian at heart, however, I’m not like that and I do like to check out the technical and historical accuracy of any civilisation I’m not familiar with when it’s just thrown into a movie. I’ll come back to that a bit later but nonetheless Blood Diner is a delightful slab of cheese that takes good acting, good film making and historical accuracy and throws it out the window and replaces it with many breasts, a brain in a jar and cannibalism. All in all, not a bad way to spend 88 minutes of your life 🙂
Before our tale of 80s terror can begin we first have to travel back to 1963 where little Michael and George Tutman are playing innocently in their lounge while the babysitter runs around the house in a panic about having run out of tampons. Having eventually decided that the only solution to the problem is to run down to the local pharmacy and pick up some more she leaves just as the radio announcer issues a warning that there’s a madman running around in the neighbourhood chopping up innocent young women. Just after she leaves the madman comes to the house, smashes down the door and charges in covered in blood, screaming like a maniac and wielding his meat cleaver above his head. The boys are delighted to see him because the maniac is their uncle Anwar Namtut who has been teaching them all about the occult. Sadly their reunion is cut short when the police rock up at the house and gun Anwar down while the boys watch from a window. This psychological trauma will lead the boys down a dark path of the occult, cannibalism and the devilish ability to make clock’s run backwards. Anyone who comes into contact with them will forever run the risk of either being eaten or never knowing if they’re running late for work or not.
Flash forward to 1987 and the brothers are all grown up and doing quite well for themselves: they’ve opened up their own little diner and their food is the talk of the town. They’re also busy digging up their dead uncle so that, through the power of black magic and a little vinegar, they can revive his brain and keep it in a jar in a similar way to the demon in Possessed by the Night. Now of course there’s a perfectly logical reason behind all of this, which the brain kindly fills us in on. Back in 1963 when he was killed the first time Anwar was busy trying to collect all the ingredients he needed so that he could awaken the goddess Sheetar, a diabolical divinity of the Lumerian people whose civilisation flourished 5 million years ago. 5 million years ago? People hadn’t evolved out of the trees yet and Lumeria was believed to be a continent that sank beneath the waves, not a part of the American outback! Feels good to get that out. Anyways Anwar the Brain now needs the boys to finish his work and help prepare a Lumerian feast that will summon Sheetar to earth on the night when Jupiter and the Moon are aligned with one another. Makes perfect sense to me.
Up until I watched this movie I’d never even heard of a Lumerian Feast, let alone knew how to go about preparing one, and I feel it’s an important thing to learn. After all you never know when the day will come when you want to give a bloodthirsty, angry goddess a mortal form. It’s quite an involved process so pay careful attention and take notes if necessary. Firstly the Moon and Jupiter need to be coming into alignment. You then need to kill around 2 dozen slutty girls and use bits of their bodies to stitch together a new body for Sheetar to dwell in when she comes to earth. You then need to kill around half a dozen more sluts and use select internal organs as the basis for the Lumerian stew that you will feed to your guests later. To make the stew you add the body parts to a mixture of chicken stock and root vegetables and simmer over a low heat until the feast begins. You then need to acquire a virgin and have her ready for Sheetar to eat as soon as she takes her mortal form. Virgins are hard to come by so start shopping early. Finally you need to find a venue full of people who you can drug and turn into zombies so that they will eat the stew and begin having an orgy. Sheetar likes to be resurrected during fun gatherings. Bring the mortal Sheetar body to the venue, drug the guests, lay the stew out and tie the virgin up, let the Moon and Jupiter align and recite some incantations. Next thing Bob’s your uncle and you having a living goddess ready to commit all manner of atrocities. Enjoy!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Killers often walk around with a cleaver in one hand and their severed genitals in the other.
- Brains will last inside a corpse for at least 20 years.
- Ancient goddesses want to be given mortal form in a body made up of chopped up sluts.
- Women see nothing strange or dangerous about a strange man covering them in batter near a deep fryer.
- Women, even after having a cupboard-load of body parts fall on them, will always run back for their handbag.
- A woman’s martial arts abilities are directly proportional to the amount of clothing she takes off.
BLOOD DINER TRAILER
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
Year of Release: 2003
IMDB Rating: 2.8 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Well, the name says it all really – this movie is about dead clowns. Not very good dead clowns, but dead clowns nonetheless. It says something, however, when I suffer from coulrophobia (fear of clowns) and wasn’t even slightly freaked out. The problem with these clowns is that, apart from the bozo outfits and colourful wigs, they don’t look like clowns because their faces are all rotten and decomposed because they’re actually zombie clowns, and everyone knows that the scariest part of a clown is its face – you’re never quite sure what’s going on underneath all that makeup. That being said, this movie’s main failing is that virtually nothing happens – you have 8 or so characters that behave with all the acting talent of a plank of wood. Usually in a bad movie at least one person can let out a good scream. Not here. “Oh. no. it’s. going. to. kill. me.” Who knew that you could be bored when being eaten by a zombie clown?
We start our little adventure in Port Emmett (a.k.a. News ArchiveVille) where a serious hurricane is about to hit. I have renamed Port Emmett News ArchiveVille because there isn’t actually a town to speak of but rather different sequences of spliced-together archive footage of actual hurricanes. While the citizens of News ArchiveVille batten down the hatches and wait for the hurricane to make landfall a woman tells her husband (?) about the events of 50 years ago when a hurricane, very similar to the one they are currently in the middle of, hit the town and caused the bridge over the sea to collapse. On the train was a travelling circus and everyone was thrown into the water. The clown car was never recovered and the town buried the story and purged it from their collective memory. Until now. As the hurricane becomes more intense, the clowns rise from the dead and the deep to take revenge on the town that forgot about them.
This is where the movie begins to concoct a mixture of weird, confusing and boring. Instead of focusing on a single character or group of survivors the movie decides to run around different houses and show how the clowns are going on the rampage. To this end we have the following characters: Blonde Woman, Goth Girl and Goth Boy (collectively, Goth Couple), Boy in Wheelchair and Boy in Wheelchair’s Brother (I think, nothing’s made that clear), Druggie Security Guard, Hometown Woman and Hometown Woman’s husband and Girl in Oversized Jersey. None of these characters are at all likeable, mainly due to the fact that the camera never settles on them for more than 10 minutes. Add to this that they are so pathetic in their survival attempts that you wish the zombies would just hurry up and eat them so we can move on.
The rest of this never-ending story comprises mainly of the zombie clowns slowly staggering around after the members of this little village. Since only two of the characters actually meet it takes an awfully long time before anyone figures out how the zombies can be sent back to their watery grave. I’m also convinced that Steve Sessions, the director, was turned into a zombie during the making of the movie if the speed that anyone goes at is a good indication of anything. On the up side, however, it is incredibly fun to try and analyse the attempt at a subplot with Goth Couple, to try to make out what Goth Couple are saying since the microphone guy couldn’t seem to get up the energy to walk over to them and you can always have a good laugh at the attack scenes since, rather than making contact, it would appear that zombie clowns and humans alike enjoy fanning one another with any weapon they can lay their hands on.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Snorting sugar crystals allows you to see into the future.
- Small towns purge themselves of any memories to do with a clown-related tragedy.
- Revenge for a clown is really just a matter of pride.
- Insulting a clown’s pride by forgetting about them leads to them eating you.
- Despite being submerged for over 50 years a clown’s costume is always crisp and clean.
- Hurricanes bring clowns back from the dead.
- An unlocked door is not a good defense against an undead clown.
- Your body can be crushed by a piece of drywall.
- Unlike regular zombies that prefer brains, clown zombies go right for the intestines.
- Having a priest’s brain in your hair is a major turn-on for some people.
Dead Clowns Trailer