Archive for the 'Horror movies' Category

May

Comments Off on East Stackton

Welcome to the small town of East Stackton, a town loonier than the inhabitants of Summerisle. Of course that isn’t something that they openly promote. Sure they aren’t the friendliest folks to welcome city folk with open arms, but dammit, they know how to throw a surprise party, although you may not want to be the guest of honor…

And this is where our main man Carol comes in (hey, Carol can be a guy’s name too). You see, Carol is nosing around in these parts for his company, House and Home. They send him to all the locations to see if their stores are profitable. Not wanting to stick out like a sore thumb, Carol slaps on novelty state-shaped belt buckle and does his best to blend in. It’s that mentality that most city folk have; thinking that by slapping on a cowboy hat, people will believe you are actually from Texas. Inside the store, he meets with the manager Ned and all seems well. Carol steps outside to chain smoke and briefly eyes a pickup truck carrying a large ornament of some kind on the bed. He thinks nothing of it and continues to smoke his non-name brand cigarette, his favorite kind.

Bored of staying in his hotel room, Carol sets out to grab a beer with the good ol’ rednecks of… whatever state East Stackton is in. Everyone stares at him as he enters, no doubt blending in with that authentic belt buckle of his (man that keeps coming up. I wonder if it will play a part later?). He’s quick to make friends with the bartender, Kelly. She shares an awful lot of information with him about her dad’s hardwood store being run out of town and him dying. I’m sure this will in no way come back in the movie, so let’s move on. Carol is rushed out of the bar by the brute, chest thumping Cody and back to his hotel where he finds the bloody corpse of a possum nailed to the door, surely a welcoming basket from the community.

Well, the next morning isn’t any better for Carol. He finds that his car is missing and this is also what starts my favorite Carol characteristic in the movie: Cursing to himself under his breath. It seriously is funny every time he does this. Only thing he can do is call the Sheriff, who is on his way once he is done washing his squad car. You gotta have priorities. And as you can guess, the Sheriff and Carol don’t seem to agree with one another and we have ourselves a classic case of small town Sheriff vs. the city slicker. It’s an old fashioned duel, but always seems fresh when you see it.

On his second visit to the store, again stepping outside to chain smoke, Carol has a more eventful day. Following a trail of blood like a one man Scooby gang, he follows it to a dumpster to find the corpse of Cody with a hammer lodged in his forehead. I guess they won’t be able to make up over some drinks any time soon. He tells Sheriff Charlie all about it and in typical fashion, the Sheriff takes him downtown, leaving the clean up to Ned. Yep, Ned also happens to be a deputy. Hey, everyone is holding down at least two jobs now-a-days. Times are tough.

blackbagSheriff Charlie isn’t pulling the wool over Carol’s eyes, no sir. Carol is starting to seem suspicious of the town, as he spots the mean mugging mayor. This guy looks like he’s in a nasty mood and talks to the Sheriff about a ceremony that everyone is expecting Carol to be at. They tell him how excited they are to see him there later, which naturally, creeps Carol the hell out. Feeling like he’s losing his mind, Carol wanders out into traffic to almost get hit by a truck, but Kelly pulls him out of harm’s way. The two go back to her place for coffee and a chat about House and Home being the worst thing to happen to the town, but it’s cut short by the Sheriff taking Carol back down for more questioning… even though Sheriff Charlie never asked him any questions before (Carol does point this out).

This is where the film gets darker real quick. The Sheriff pushes him out of the squad car in front of all the town folk, where they welcome him and chloroform him. Jeez, they went from friendly to hostile in about a second flat. He wakes up to a stage, seeing two large wooden X’s (ah, so that’s what was on the truck) with a man hanging upside down on one. The mayor, dressed like Lord Sadler from Resident Evil 4, cuts the man’s throat during some chanting. His blood spills on the ground opening a gateway to Hell, and I kid you not, Satan appears! Yes, Satan makes an appearance in this film! Carol manages to cut himself free with his belt buckle (so I guess it did come in handy after all) and escapes to be rescued by Kelly. Turns out she was on to the town’s plan of raising the Devil, which I hope she would after living there for several years! Not like it’s a huge secret around there. The film doesn’t end there though. Kelly stops the truck and reveals her ulterior motive…

For running under thirty minutes, I had a good time watching East Stackton. For starters, it’s beautiful to look at. The cinematography is excellent, using good depth between the characters and the background, allowing them to stick out. Speaking of the characters, these actors are top notch. Short films usually make the mistake of either trying to cram too much character background in a short amount of time or not enough. Think of it like The Three Bears story. East Stackton is Baby Bear; it’s just right. Carol, of course, sticks out as the best since the camera is constantly on him. He’s written with humor, so instead of watching him mindlessly putter around, he makes snide comments or exclaims profanity. It’s hysterical. You feel bad for all these things that are happening to him, since he’s innocent, but he never comes off as pathetic. There is some gore, since I know you’ve been wondering, and it’s done very well. There isn’t a lot of it, but when there is, it’s pretty to look at. Speaking of pretty, the Satan effect is done well. I think it was a mix of puppet and CG, but it’s not on the screen for very long. And although this seems like a plot you’re familiar (Wickerman, anyone?), it’s one that is still enjoyable and even if you’ve seen this kind of film before, you want to see where they are going with it.

East Stackton is available for digital download at their website for only $5. It’s worth every penny. So, mosey on down to them parts and give it a watch, ya hear?

roadside attractions

  • -Playing possum.
  • -Belt Buckle Bonanza.
  • -Slippery Sheriff!
  • -Mayor Mayhem!
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Splatters, a throat cut and a ‘hammered’ body.

5

blood

BREASTS

You get come nice cleavage, plus Carol has his shirt buttoned down just enough, ladies.

9

beast

BEASTS

East Stackton itself is a beast, plus they raise the Devil.

7 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “East Stackton”

trailers

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Apr

Comments Off on Fondue

Fondue

I don’t understand all this hate for Canada. I’ve been there a few times and it’s a nice, quiet place and I always have a good time. After all, they have given us wonderful things like Bacon, Rush and poutine. Well now I would like to add another thing to that list: The films of young filmmaker Torin Langen. Usually when we think of Canadian films, The Final Sacrifice comes to mind, but I’m here to erase that memory from your mind and fill it with a pleasant one.

This memory in particular is a short I was fortunate enough to see entitled Fondue from Candle Flame Films. I wasn’t sure what Fondue was about, but having seen some of Torin’s previous work, such as Trash, I was pretty excited to view this. And let me tell you… I was blown away.

The film starts off with a young woman sitting quietly by herself on sidewalk of a busy city. A young man comes to meet her and the two frolic off to a department store where they pick up some creepy masks and some cheerful looking pumpkin buckets for Trick or Treating, giving you the indication that it’s probably for Halloween. However, the streets seem to be lacking any children, dressed as ghouls or goblins out and about haggling for candy door to door. It’s here that the pair dons there masks and walk side by side down some railroad tracks as they mark their hands with an ‘F’. They make their way to a house that looks like it should be in a Rob Zombie film as they bump into another young woman, also in a mask holding a bucket, as she is skipping away from the house. The three stare at each other for a moment and it’s at this moment when you realize how quiet the town seems and that something terrible could happen at any moment. The young girl just scoots pass them as they make their way up to the door.

Once at the house, someone in a mask invites the girl in as the boy waits outside. The interior of the house, desperately needing some interior decoration (maybe someone should call the guys from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). The girl is instructed to go upstairs after being handed an intense looking knife, hooked and bearing teeth similar to a saw. Once upstairs, she hesitates for a moment and stands in a doorway, very reminiscent of slasher villains Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. Then we see what she was staring at: A young man, bound and gagged in a rusted, filthy bathtub, hooked up to some homemade IV. She advances with the knife and the film reveals its true nature.

Fondue was truly unnerving for the right reasons. For starters, the film’s muted color bring out the grey sky, the orange and brown of the dead leaves and the dried blood red house make you feel uncomfortable in your own surroundings, leaving you with a sense of dread that you are in constant danger. The only time we see the characters faces is at the beginning. These kids look innocent and harmless, but once they don their monster masks, which seem to fit their faces and personality, they turn into soulless beings capable of macabre things. Fondue is also void of any dialogue and the actors are forced to show emotion through masks, which is no easy task when no one speaks and is hiding their faces, but their eyes, peering beyond the masks (especially actress Raven Cousens) shakes you to your core.

Aside from the wind whipping dead tree branches, the sound or gravel and hardwood floors beneath their shoes and the occasional passing train, Fondue’s only soundtrack are very rusty guitar strings, reminding me of Neil Young, matches the tone, both visually and viscerally.

Overall, the film was an eerie experience and had sort of a Jim Jarmusch vibe to it, mixed with a little bit of Hitchcock tension. Fondue is respectually getting the recognition it deserves and turning heads (and stomachs) at film festivals all over. Keep your eye for this one and on the director/writer Torin Langen. That kid is going places, I tell ya.

roadside attractions

  • Monster Mask Mania
  • Homemade IV Goodness
  • Fondue Dipping Fun
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Everyone, everything… except the dude in the tub.

7

blood

BREASTS

If you count that one boob in the bathtub.

9

beast

BEASTS

Everyone, everything… except the dude in the tub.

8.1 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Fondue”

trailers

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Mar

posted by admin | March 29, 2013 | 70's b-movies, 70's movies, Horror movies, Review by Tiger Sixon

Comments Off on Sssssss

sssssss

You gotta love any film with a title consisting of just one repeated letter. Sssssss (1973) is on that list, along with XXX and…uh…AAA: The Movie (the towing scenes are GREAT).

That’s seven S’s, kids and don’t you forget it. As the row of S’s suggests, Sssssss is about, you guessed it, snakes. Now, y’all might think a b-movie about snakes like this would be just chuck full of puppets, garden hoses with googly eyes, or toy snakes. Wrong. Sssssss prides itself on using real snakes. Real venomous snakes no less, like the Black Mamba and the King Cobra. In fact, there is a big disclaimer at the front of the film stating the use of real snakes—and you can tell they are real. This film was shot in the 1970s, and fake snakes looked like fake snakes back then.

Fans of The A-Team and the original Battlestar Galactica, take note: Dirk Benedict is the young star of this here feature. And I do mean young—he looks straight outta high school. Benedict gets the gig as crazy snake doctor Strother Martin’s assistant (only three S’s? Lame). Martin has a filmography longer than an anaconda, and is perhaps best remembered as the “Failure to communicate” guy from Cool Hand Luke (he’s also in Slap Shot and The Wild Bunch).

snake milking sssssssMartin has other companions too, mainly his daughter, played by Sound of Music‘s Heather Menzies, and his “obedient serpent” Harry. Yes, obedient serpent. Harry is prone to drinking whiskey throughout the film, which is worth a watch on its own, and I’m sure inspired Nickolas Cage’s performance in Leaving Las Vegas.

The awkward snake lingo doesn’t stop with obedient serpent, either. Lines like, “I’ll milk you tomorrow,” and “Put your finger in there,” slither throughout the film. In addition to Martin’s hilarious snake-speak, Benedict suffers through a few crazy hallucinations scenes—complete with stock footage of volcanos and other weird stuff.

sssssss

Two scenes really stand out, however. Actually. Three. First, is a scene where Martin has a duel with a King Cobra. A real King Cobra, no less. Sure, there’s some creative shooting and editing going on, and probably a puppet shot or two, but it is still impressive. Second, there is a scene involving an alleged ‘snake-man’ at a freak show. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say it is down right creepy. Third, and this is something really special, is the skinny dipping scene with Benedict and Menzies.

Don’t get your hopes up. Instead of seeing what nature gave the pair, laughable graphics of huge leaves are superimposed over anything questionable. It is a sight to behold.

Sssssss is a hoot and insanely entertaining, so give it a watch—but ya might wanna pass if’n ya suffer from a fear of snakes. I’m lookin’ at you, Dr. Jones.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Toothless Mechanics
  • Creepy Profs Hitting on Students
  • Killer Snakes
  • Transformations
  • Hallucinations
  • Green Skin
  • Sideshow Freaks
  • Slo-mo Snake-shower-scene
  • Snakes Drinking Whiskey
  • Dancing Girls
  • Leaves Covering Naughty Bits
  • Squeaky Snakes
  • Real Snakes
  • Confusing Venomous and Poisonous
  • Dirk Benedict Biting People
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There isn’t too much blood throughout the whole film, but things do get nasty here and there, especially with the snakebites.

2

blood

BREASTS

The carnival scene features a top heavy dancer in a skimpy outfit, but she keeps covered up. There is implied nudity in the skinny dipping scene.

10

beast

BEASTS

Snakes, snakes, and more snakes. There are snakes everywhere. It is like Showgirls, but with snakes instead of dancing girls.

6.66 OVERALL
dripper
Feb

Comments Off on Freaked (A guest review by Experiment 42)

Experiment 42

He was born 3 days after the introduction of the IBM PC, the offspring of an alien and a maniac. He runs on DOS. Raised on the isle of Zaxxon on a steady diet of Mail Order Monsters. Has 20 imaginary friends all named Vic, a secret girlfriend called Lisa, and even an imaginary pet platypus he calls “The Commodore”. Nocturnal by nature, must wear prescription eyewear to prevent blindness. Has an eye for Adventure, no stranger to Combat, (even the occasional Joust). Built a teleporter at age 11. Spent most of his teens and twenties watching and collecting movies in order to better assimilate human culture. Lost Highway now proudly brings Experiment 42’s review of Freaked. Time to get your freak on!

freaked

So, you are visiting a third world country, happen to be on the back roads and see misspelled signs for a freak show. Of course you would need to go visit it right? Well, that is what 3 dupes do. Upon seeing that it is run by Randy Quaid, they decide, sure, it’s safe to go into the secret warehouse. That’s when it all goes wrong for our … ‘heroes’? With the help of a Commodore 64, and some kind of radioactive fertilizer they are turned into hideous freaks to be displayed for the paying public of “Santa Flan”.

Ricky Coogan (Alex Winter from Bill and Ted) a sleazy, former child actor, and Ernie (Michael Stoyanov of Blossom) his lackey friend, fly Pan Am to Santa Flan [named for the patron saint of creamy desserts] to help promote the use of banned chemical fertilizer Zygrot 24. There they are met by a swarm of protesters let by Julie (Megan Ward of Trancers II/III) who they convince to ride with her to pelt Coogan with Insults and Cow crap.

On their journey Ricky eventually blows his cover and argues with Julie until a string of signs leads them to Elijah C. Skuggs Freek Land, a local freakshow. Skuggs [Randy Quaid] tricks all three into visiting his secret warehouse. After being transformed by something that looks like a green slime akin to Nickelodeon’s Double Dare, Ricky, Ernie and Julie meet all of the freaks created by Skuggs.

freakedA man with a giant nose, a crescent wrench turned into a hammer, a bearded lady (played by Mr. T), a frog man, the Eternal Flame (A Man with constant flaming flatulence), a man whose head has been turned into a sock puppet, a cow cowboy, a human worm, and Ortiz the dog boy (played by the uncredited Keanu Reeves). They come up with a plan to escape Skuggs’s machinations. First dodging Mr. Toad, and two Rastafarian machine gun toting eyball robots. Then the additional transformation of Ricky into a super freak. I was still waiting to hear Skuggs utter “Shi***** full”.

Honestly, you need to watch it to know whether you will enjoy it or not, but it is the quintesscential B-Movie. C-List actors, lots of foam rubber, puns, and cameos.

roadside attractions

  • Rabid Dog Boy Knife Fight
  • MACHINE GUN RASTAFARIAN EYEBALL ROBOTS
  • Petting and Heavy Petting Zoo
  • The world’s loudest styrofoam cup
  • President of the United States Larry Bud Melman
  • Outhouse built like a TARDIS
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Head Spiked like a football after being removed with one’s bare hands.
Man Impaled with I Like Ike Placard
Bob Vila hit in the head with a hammer.
Brooke Shields riddled with bullets. Twice.
College Professor Crushed in a Riot. Twice.

0

blood

BREASTS

The closest we come to seeing any skin is just post transformation of JulieErnie, and just prior the miming of extra chest-al equipment.

5

beast

BEASTS

All of the Freaks
A Really Big Shoe
Two Headed Chicken

7.0 OVERALL
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Check out this trailer for “Freaked”

trailers

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Feb

posted by Barry Goodall | February 17, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies

Comments Off on Night Life (1989)

Night Life

The question you got to ask yourself in any good zombie movie is how do you kill the zombies? A bullet to the head usually does the trick, but it really lacks any pizzaz. If you have the upper body strength, you could try decapitation but that can get a little messy. Total body dismemberment? Sure, but who has the time? Then a movie like 1989’s “Night Life” comes along and throws the whole kitchen sink at them. They get burned, hit with a train, ran through a wood chipper, air drilled to the face, blown up, and have their noggin split with an axe. It’s a cornucopia of zombie killin’. Plus, you get a couple zombies shagging on a box spring mattress and you sure won’t see that in any Romero flick.

Archie (Scott Grimes) is your typical ginger headed geek. Cursed by his red hair, he’s been forced to work at the mortuary in hopes his uncle Vern (John Astin) will pay for his college. Unfortunately, his Uncle treats him like Chinese Slave labor and when he isn’t working he’s being tormented by a gang of bullies at school. The only hope for a normal life is his wrench monkey pseudo-girlfriend Charlie (Cheryl Pollak) but she just bailed on him to work on a Nascar pit crew down south. It’s really every young girl’s dream. Things are looking up when a prom queen wanna-bee tries to seduce Archie on his way back to the mortuary, but het gets distracted with his tight whities just long enough for her to sneak her trouble making friends in the back door. They play hide the corpse and Archie has to piggy back the body back downstairs where his uncle immediately fires him.

Later that night, Archie gets a frantic phone call from uncle Vern whose been up to his neck in stiffs. As luck would have it, all those trouble making kids were killed in a car accident with a chemical truck and there’s zumbas and leg warmers everywhere. Archie and Vern prep the bodies and store them in a deep freezer for later but a bolt of lightening brings then back as killer zombies. They attack a plumber but it’s not quite clear if they actually want to kill Archie or just stuff him in a locker. Archie heads back to the gas station to call the cops where he runs into Charlie who just got dumped by her pitcrew agent. Turns out the guy didn’t work for NASCAR despite driving a wicked 85 Camaro and drinking heavily.

The zombies show up and give Uncle Vern the full Jiffy Lube special inflating him way past his recommended tire pressure and Charlie and Archie escape to a nearby warehouse where they filet a couple in a easy bake giant oven. Pursued by the zombies in a patrol car, they narrowly escape a train collision and battle the remaining zombies in a graveyard with a woodchopper and a can of gasoline. No lost of irony on that one folks. Heads roll, zombies ‘plode but it’s basically just a teenage love story….and a valuable lesson in the importance of saving for college. Barry Goodall says dig up a copy and remember to always properly foil wrap your fresh corpses to avoid freezer burn.

roadside attractions

  • Corpse lugging
  • Neck rotating
  • Lightening charging undead
  • Zombie shagging
  • Drill to the eye
  • Oil inflaton
  • Punch to the gut
  • Axe to the head
  • Zombie cops
  • Train crash and burn
  • Woodchipper zombie mulching
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

A dead plumber, exploding morticians and lots of crazy zombie dismemberment.

3

blood

BREASTS

A prom queen in her underwear , girls flashing mortuary staff members, humping zombies. it’s like mardigras all over again but without any actual nudity.

5

beast

BEASTS

A clan of zombies who may or may not be able to still graduate high school.

8.5 OVERALL
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Check out this trailer for “Night Life”

trailers

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About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>