Recent horror viewings: 8/9/15
August 09, 2015




Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994)
In the tradition of dozens of other "final" horror films is the fifth Puppet Master installment.

...the fifth of, like, ten movies. So, yeah, this was nowhere near the "final."

This one picks up where 4 left off, with the new goodie two-shoes master being accused of murdering the victims of the previous film. Also, the puppets have been confiscated as evidence against him. Also also, the Egyptian demon lord from the previous film wants revenge and intends to exact it by engaging the puppets personally.

...as a puppet-sized monster. :

Also also also, there's some prick who wants to steal the puppets and take credit for their discovery. He hires a bunch of thugs to help capture them.

Also also also also, the puppets (this time including Torch) escape.

Eventually, the long exposition, everyone winds up in the hotel from the previous flick, characters die, and the puppets meet the demon lord in what promises to be an epic showdown, but terminates with an anti-climax. Honestly, I think this is my least favorite Puppet Master movie so far. It's not scary, the death scenes all consist of someone wrestling with the demon lord until the camera transitions to blood spraying on something, and the final fight feels like a forerunner for Avengers: Age of Ultron, what with the villain being something of a pushover after receiving a lot of buildup. Sure, the movie has all of Full Moon's and Charles Band's trademarks, but it's boring as hell.





You're Next (2011)
A man and his Aussie girlfriend travel to his family's vacation home in the boonies to celebrate his parents' anniversary. After his siblings and their significant others arrive, three men in animal masks begin picking them off one by one. Unfortunately for them, the Aussie slips into "last girl" mode before the second character is even dead...

To my surprise, I dug this film. The title seemed stupid, but the brief presences of both Larry Fessenden and Ti West assured me that this wouldn't be a crap flick. It turned out to be a pretty brutal yet fun movie where the characters act more naturally than in most other slasher I've seen. When someone dies, the rest don't simply cry for a minute then say, "Oh, well..." They either steel their resolve or become hysterical. Even some of the antagonists have a hard time dealing with the killings in this film. Most of all, I found myself rooting for the protagonist, Erin, in her quest to vanquish the masked murderers and their accomplices, which added to the tension.




Re-Animator (1985)
Want to hear something hard to believe? I only recently caught Re-Animator for the first time. I know, it's a B-movie classic, but every time I thought I should watch it I would dragged my feet. With names like Brian Yuzna, Charles Band, Stuart Gordon, Richard Band, and Jeffrey Combs associated with it, I honestly wonder why I hesitated until now...

Based on the episodic short story by HP Lovecraft, this one is about a mad scientist/college student Herbert West who discovers how to "revive" the dead. Yeah, he creates zombies, among them are: his roommate's cat, the school's dean, the dean's brain surgeon colleague, and a handful of stiffs from the school's morgue. Of course, his roommate Dan Cain gets caught up in the mess, winds up in the doghouse with his girlfriend, and attempts to redeem himself when she's predictably captured by the dean's beheaded college/main antagonist Dr. Carl Hill. The whole thing culminates in a campy practical effects precursor to Peter Jackson's Dead Alive.

It's a fun, bloody flick to watch, with plenty of that Full Moon-style cheese, marrying legit scares with decent black comedy. It's also got one of my favorite title sequences ever.

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Masters Masters - August 10, 2015 (02:34 AM)
I've always wanted to see Re-Animator - maybe now I'll check it out.
overdrive overdrive - August 10, 2015 (07:35 PM)
When you said Lovecraft, a part of me had this evil wish that you'd picked up one of those movies that only was Lovecraftian in that his name was attached to it. Like Black Magic Mansion or whatever it was called. Because that movie was horrible and about as non-Lovecraft as imaginable.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - August 11, 2015 (06:44 PM)
Masters-
Yeah, I recommend it. It's better than most Lovecraft-inspired movies. Just don't expect it to be a completely faithful adaptation (in some ways I'm glad it isn't).

OD-
Oh, I've seen many of those ill-shot Lovecraft movies:
-I'll confess to having a guilty love for Beyond the Wall of Sleep, despite knowing it's crap.
-Lurking Fear was awful.
-Bleeders had good atmosphere and Rutger Hauer, but a terrible script.
-I haven't seen it in its entirety, but The Dunwich Horror from 1970 has a hilariously bad/seizure-inducing scene with a woman getting pelted with dozens of rubber hands and tentacles that emerge from a closet. Link here, it's from Badmovies.org. Just open it with Media Player rather than saving it.

Thankfully, I caught Re-Animator rather than Black Magic Mansion or whatever.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - August 11, 2015 (06:45 PM)
Cthulhu Mansion. That's the film (I think Black Magic Mansion is a rarely used alternate title).
overdrive overdrive - August 12, 2015 (04:43 PM)
I think when I saw it, it was on HBO or one of those and as Black Magic Mansion. The name isn't important, though, just that the movie is terrible. Not the worst I've ever seen, but that says more to the quality of film I find myself attracted to than anything concerning its quality.

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