Recent horror viewings: First October post of 2015
October 09, 2015

It's October. I like horror movies. I think you see where I'm going with this...

ZOMBI 2 (1979)

Tisa Farrow (Mia's sister) searches the Caribbean for her father with the help of Ian McCulloch and a couple of guides. What they discover is an alcoholic scientist creating zombies with voodoo in the name of scientific research. Meanwhile, Olga Karlatos gets a wooden splinter in her eye and a zombie fights a tiger shark.

I love Zombi 2. It's campy, gritty, gory, atmospheric, and pretty much everything a Fulci film should be. Yeah, Ol' Lucio has made some better flicks, but this one is still dear to me. Karlatos' death scene still leaves me speechless.


A small town family fights off a horde of menacing, carnivorous aliens with voracious appetites. Meanwhile, a couple of bounty hunters bumble around looking for the creatures, called "Crites."

Critters didn't age very well. That's not to say it isn't a fun film still, but I don't remember there being so many pointless scenes with the bounty hunters, plus I recall there being more horror. Yeah, Billy Zane gets pretty nastily munched, but other than that there's a dearth of scares in what feels to be a halfhearted Gremlins knockoff, but one that's still mildly fun.

Cringe if you like, but I always preferred Critters 2: The Main Course anyway. That's when the franchise seemed to become more self-aware.


A couple of homeless yokels discover they are pregnant and decide to sell their baby on the internet to solve their problem of not having a permanent home. Unfortunately, the couple they attempt to sell to have ulterior motives...

I've seen this movie on several multi-film packs. In fact, I have two separate packs with this flick on it. Obviously, there's a reason distributors are so willing to let it sell along with a slew of others for a pittance: it sucks. It's poorly shot, filled with instances of ill-fitting humor, and has an unnecessary narrator--one of my biggest peeves. It plays out like a Lifetime Network thriller and isn't tense in the least. Avoid at all costs.

MR. JONES (2013)

A wanna-be documentary film maker leaves the city behind with his girlfriend to produce a nature movie in the woods. There they discover a mysterious artist known only to serious art buffs and collectors as Mr. Jones. He creates and sends strange, monstrous totems around the world and no one knows why. In an attempt to sate his curiosity, the director breaks into Jones' house and tampers with some of his totems and an altar, releasing an unknown evil.

If you couldn't tell, this is a found-footage movie. It starts off somewhat intriguing, with some great psychological scares and a delightful twist. After everything goes to hell, though, the movie loses its punch and fizzles out, becoming a dull, tedious surrealist piece. I understand why all the surrealism, but the pacing shouldn't drop as much as it did.


Based loosely on a story by HG Wells, this one is an old school drive-in flick about would-be landowners scoping out an island resort under construction. While on the tour, they discover that some common ants have grown to mammoth proportions thanks to a steady diet of toxic waste. People run, characters die, and they eventually find the queen...

I love old campy movies like this. Empire certainly isn't Oscar material, but it's so full of wonderful creature effects and old horror tropes that I can't not love it. The only thing that I think needs to go is the irritating screaming noise the ants make.

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Germ Germ - October 10, 2015 (12:30 AM)
LOVE Empire of the Ants. Randomly watched it over the air on some lazy afternoon last year, was really entertained.
Genj Genj - October 10, 2015 (07:56 AM)
I saw Zombie / Zombi 2 last year for the first time and was a bit disappointed because of the hype it has from horror fans. I prefer The Beyond and House by the Cemetery.

I recently watched Insidious Chapter 3. It is the weakest entry in the series to date but still an effective ghost movie. James Wan has a pretty good eye for directing and he seems to have mastered the jump-scare well. The scenes in The Further are a bit scaled back compared to 1 & 2 and that was disappointing. I'd still gladly watch a Chapter 4. Probably the only decent horror series currently around.

Also Crimson Peak looks awesome. I love Guillermo del Toro's work.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - October 10, 2015 (11:30 AM)
I caught Empire of the Ants on TBS when I was kid, during a Saturday morning horror show they used to do called Super Scary Saturday (hosted by Al Lewis as "Grampa"--he wasn't allowed to call himself Grandpa Munster for legal reasons). I enjoyed the hell out of it then, and still do today. The same production company also made a couple of other HG Wells stories into movies: The Island of Dr. Moreau and Food of the Gods (same basic concept as Empire, except with giant mosquitoes, grubs, and rats).

Zombi 2 was only my second Fulci movie, so I thankfully didn't have it overhyped for me (City of the Living Dead being my first). The Beyond, unfortunately, was kind of overhyped for me. I genuinely like it, but I've always preferred City and House by the Cemetery.

I have yet to see Insidious 2 (I'll probably see it this month, after I watch Creep, The Loved Ones, and [hopefully] Goodnight Mommy), let alone 3. I like James Wan, though. I love the way his movies always seem like they're going to be fully resolved, only to have a "not so fast" moment.

I'm dragging my wife to Crimson Peak next chance I get. I told her I would do that after she dragged me to some chick flick or another.

Germ Germ - October 10, 2015 (06:22 PM)
I caught Food of the Gods the same way, it was a great laugh. Really interesting to know the same people were responsible. I've seen the first two Insidious movies, but they didn't really do anything for me and I think I'll skip the third.

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