Archive for the 'Review by Barry Goodall' Category


Comments Off on House on Haunted Hill (1959)

“Never fall asleep in a jacuzzi”

I remember looking forward to the arrival of the spring county fair. The crowds, the smell of the deep fried meat by-products and the eventual sugar coma I got from the elephant ears. Traveling down the row of colorful tents, the carnies would try to hussle you and you’d inevitably fall victim to spending $50 for a $2 stuff animal. Well worth the cost to impress your date with your amazing athletic ability to toss an oversized softball into a fruit basket (it really is harder than it looks.) Of course the big attraction were those crazy rides of the midway. Suspiciously held together by just a rusty bolt and a lock pin, your life hidged on the safety expertise of the greasy haired guy operating the speed dial below. You know, the guy with the two missing front teeth and bottle of Jack Daniels in his front pocket laughing maniacally as he spins you around to unconciousness. Tilt-a-hurl…the Toboggan Run to the Bathroom… all with their own blaring hard rock sound tracks. Midway rides were your quickest way to both deafness and dizziness so my favorite ride had to be the fun house. Sitting in that little two seat metal death trap that resembled those old motorcycle sidecars you’d experience the combination of dread and excitement as a chain driven track would drag you away to it’s mysterious dark world.  Warnings sprawled in dripping neon paint telling you to “turn back now before it’s too late” or “beware of vampires” as you were greated by plastic skeletons popping up via air hydraulics and creepy things dropping and buzzing from the ceilings. You’d be ducking from side to side as lumbering zombies and giant styrofoam demon heads would lurch at you as you passed by until you finally emerged back safely into the real world. Sure it wasn’t exactly blood curdling terror but it was a fun goofy ride that put a smile on your face. 

1959’s House on Haunted Hill had this same sort of campy horror charm of a funhouse ride. An eceentric millionaire Frederick Loren played by Vincent Price invites 5 strangers to stay locked in a haunted house. If they make it through the night they’ll get $10,000 each which was a pretty good chunk of change back then. His wife Annabell (Carol Ohmart) is his cold hearted back stabbing wife who suggested the idea to throw his little haunted party. Why he’d listen to someone who tried to poison him earlier in their marriage is beyond me but this is his 4th marriage so he’s probably already used to parting with his money. The greedy guests not fearful of voluntary imprisonment from a stranger arrive at the home which resembles more a roadside motor lodge  than a haunted house. There’s the quintessential hero test pilot, Lance, a fragile nerved typist, Nora, a uptight psychiatrist, Dr. Trent and Ruth whose a chain smoking gossip columnist with gambling addiction. Aren’t all gossip columninst chains smoking gamblers? Watson Pritchard The owner of the house is also in the contest. He’s a bug eyed little man whose love of alcohol can only be matched by his absolute fear of the supernatural as he constantly whines about how the ghosts in the house are going to kill them all.  As the evening festivities begin which mostly consists of a lot of scotch drinking and cigarette smoking, Fredrick gives everyone a handgun in their own limited edition collector coffin holster. Always a good idea to give paranoid drunks some loaded guns in a haunted house. What could go wrong?

 Pritchard proceeds to tell heart warming bedtime stories of how countless people were butchered in the house and pieces were found everywhere except the heads. I sometimes can’t find my car keys so I could see how that could happen. Curiousity gets the best of Nora and Lance as they start snooping around the basement where they encounter dead flattened rats, an in-ground swimming pool of acid and a creepy old witch who glides around on roller skates. They return to their rooms only to find that Annabell supposedly committed suicide swinging from the rafters like a pinata. Later on she makes a cameo outside Nora’s window performing her vegas magic show of levitation and rope tricks. Ceilings start dripping blood, severed heads start popping up in closets and people get accidentally shot. It’s just another typical typical night in L.A. There’s a few interesting plot twist along the way but the movie degrades down into a kill by the numbers murder mystery. It’s capped off with a dissapointing ending that makes you feel like you were told you’d be getting a free dessert after a good meal only to find out they ran out of pie and it was closing time.

Whether House on Haunted Hill deserved its status as a frightful cult classic by today’s standards is debatable but for the time it was a campy funhouse style film that used some great gimmicks both on and off screen to give it’s audiences a few good jumps. The director, Mr. Castle was known for doing this sort of schlock-o-rama movie liked rigging electrical buzzers to the theater chairs for a nice jolt during “The Tingler” or in the case of “House on Haunted Hill”  had plastic skeletons on wires to float mysteriously above the audience during the humorous walking skeleton scene coining the term emote-o-rama. Special nominations go to Elisha Cook Jr.  who plays the house owners for uttering the obvious lines “These guns are no good against the dead, only the living”  and to the immortal Vince Price who had such great lines as “Remember the fun we had when you poisioned me?” Vince you were a fine wine in a horror film surrounded by cheese. You will be missed.

-Squished rats
-Blood oozing ceilings
-Gratutious scotch drinking
-Disembodied floating head monologues
-Creepy witches on rollerskates
-Head-in-a-box surprise
-Coffin gun holsters
-Gold diggin’ pinatas
-Acid bone cleaner
-Skeleton puppet shows

rated 7.6 out of 10

house on haunted hill House on Haunted Hill T-shirts available from Fright Rags

At Fright Rags you can get this high quality horror shirts you can’t find anywhere else. Fright Rags has the best selection of horror shirts based on your favorite cult classics, creature features, and slasher flicks! Check out the House on Haunted Hill T-shirts

Check out the trailer for House on Haunted Hill


Comments Off on Blood Diner

“His pants were the obvious source of his super-powers!”

I love vintage diners. You know those old style diners where you could sit up at the counter and dodge the grease splatterings from the kitchen. Wood grain paneling surround your bright orange plastic booth and you have to avoid the newest stain on the floor smartly camouflaged by the 70’s style floor tiles. Orders were yelled by a middle aged waitress with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth with catchy titles like “Bloodhounds in the Hay (hot dogs and sauerkraut)”, “Adam and Eve on a raft (2 poached eggs on toast)” or the less apitizing “Angels on horseback” which is actually oysters rolled in bacon on toast. Yummy…. serve that in a smoke filled room and you got yourself some fine dining ambiance.

Sure the food was greasy and the atmosphere was noisey but it was your grease pit not some impersonal mega-restaurant chain. Now you get places like Johnny Rockets with their $7 hamburgers and awkward interludes of employees singing and dancing. There’s also Bennigans which is just an Irish dining experience without the drunken brawls. You can also see a lot of TGIF’s (Terrifying Godless Incarnations of Food) and the ever popular Apple Bee’s. They all pop up next to a strip malls like weeds. Well it’s time to stomp them out and stand up for the small businessman. Your heart attack shouldn’t occur at a Apple Bee’s where the last sounds you’ll hear is some poor sap getting a birthday serenade by workers covered in flair. Nope, let me die on that brown tiled floor with a couple partially chewed fries on my shirt. They’ll just step over me on the way out the door. “Hey Charlie, yeah you got another stiff over here from your food ya lousy cook. Come clean up this mess he’s blockin da door.” ahh the sweet sounds of the Jersey accent would be the last thing I hear before sitting down at that great greasy spoon in the sky. 

Speaking of Diners with questionable health standards. Blood Diner stands as a testimate to everything you thought might be in a fast food joint but were afraid to ask. Brothers Mike and George Namtu are the owners of their booming vegetarian diner where their only special ingredient  isn’t tofu but chopped up tramps in tight spandex. To guide them in running their venture business is the disembodied brain and eyes of their Uncle Anwar whom they recently dugged up and put in a canning jar. He’s no Gordon Ramsey but he is a loud foul mouthed organ with a jewish accent so that’s close enough.

Anwar gets a bit Fahklumpted as he orders his nephews to kill whichever big haired 80’s tramp walks into the diner but also demands they use only the best body parts for a resurrection of Shee-tar. Shee-tar is either a poorly named 2 million year old pagan goddess or the modern jungle princess of gold body paint. The dimwitted brothers patchwork together their golden frankenhooker with the spare body parts only needing the obligatory virgin sacrifice to bring her to life and rule the world. But that kind of ceremony can only work if it’s done at a punk rave party with a zombie buffet and motown harmony band. Mike hypnotizes a shy cheerleader with his Jedi mind tricks and dollar store neck charm convincing her that she actually wants to see a Nazi wrestling match that his brother is in. The date takes a sour torn when George bites off the ankle off his Hitler opponent and they have to knock out Connie unconciousness with a mean right hook (Isn’t that how Britney and Kevin Federline first met.) Some cops in 70’s leisure suits and greesy hair suspect that the brothers might be involved with the recent rash of nude areobic massacres and the recent killing of a handless vantriliquist chef.

Lead by a Travoltian “Saturday Night Fever” parody who oozes grease through every pore,  the cops track down the brothers  at the local rave club. On the main stage is a propped up Shee-tar with some newly grown tummy teeth about to snack on Connie’s noggin while zombies party at the buffet table. The only thing that could save this movie is deep frying a batter dipped hooker and a kung-fu naked chick…and luckily it has both. Can it get any weirder? Probably but I think they ran out of film.

This gross horror-comedy is supposedly a low budget tribute to Herschell Gordon Lewis’ trashy splatter classic Blood Feast and with the crazed splat stick humor you can see the influence but I wouldn’t put it in the same class. Especially bad acting all around on this one but still enjoyable for it’s pure outrageous weirdness. Retroman Steve says check it out, but watch out for flying body parts. 


– Nude areobic workout massacre
– Pickled brains
– Belching overweight vegetarians
– Vantriliquist diner chefs
– Deep fried hookers noggins
– Finger food
– Multiple mamboo hit and runs
– Kung-fu nudists
– Hitler wrestling 
– Zombie mosh pits
– Broomstick decapitation
– Gratuitous use of the line “Georgie, stop fooling around!”

 rated 7.3 out of 10

Blood buffets…take all you want but eat alll you take. Sheetar commands it.

Check out this clip from Blood Diner. This is why I Love to Mamboo!


posted by admin | January 17, 2009 | 80's movies, Drama, Horror movies, Made for TV, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Dark Night of the Scarecrow

Chris discovers Tom Cruise's scientology hyperbolic chamber, the only side effect is continual shrinkage

“His decision to fight crime as Chocolate Chip Cookie Man was not received well within the super hero community.”

I would have to say that hunting is my least favorite sport that I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Give me basketball or football or even the nerve wrenching tension of Canadian curling. Just as long as you don’t put me in camoflauge and drop me in the woods. I’m not quite sure why they even call hunting a sport. There’s no running involved, well unless a bear is chasing you up a tree. There’s no throwing things except maybe empty beer cans in the woods. In fact there’s no real physical activity at all. Mostly it’s just sitting on your hinder shivering in a tree blind with a rifle barrel freezing to your groin hoping for the unlikely chance of a deer crossing your path to your pile of apples. “Oh look a magic pile of food..what a lucky deer I am that someone left this here for….KAAAABLAAAAAAAAM!!!”

Lucky that you picked up that semi automatic at Kmart last week so if at any point a large semi-trailer gets between you in the deer well he’s still a goner. Though Dick Cheney would beg to differ, I don’t feel other hunters are competiting against me nor do I mistake rich lawyers faces as targets, well most of the time. Give the deer a gun too and now we’ve got a real competitive sport. I’ve sat in the tree stands, slept in the deer blinds, and caught headlice in rustic hunting cabins but never caught buck fever at least nothing a couple shots of  NyQuil wouldn’t fix. I know some people say “Well if we don’t kill the deer they’ll just destroy our crops!” If they were locusts and this was biblical times then it’s a maybe but you’ll see at most five deer darting across a big empty field once in a winter. That’s not really an infestation. But I respect the hunter. They’re truly committed to their craft. Anyone that can sit out in a deerblind in a middle of a field all day is a man of patience and perseverance. It builds character, just look at what it did for Ted Nugget.

Speaking of people standing out in the middle of a field with nothing to do. Night of the Scarecrow introduces us to a vengeful scarecrow that unleashes an unholy terror on a group of redneck vigilantes. Larry Drake plays Bubba, a mentally challenged middle aged man who is wrongly accused of killing a young child. They’re lead by one of the the most evil postman ever seen on TV since the dark days of Mr. McFeely. Charles Durning plays Otis P. Hazelrigg (not his maiden name) the town postman who convinces a group of his friends to track down Bubba now disguised as a scarecrow and  shoot him up like a pinata at a gansta party.

After a circus courtroom hearing that had all the lawful proceedings of a skit from He-Haw, the judge throws out the case claiming it was all in self defense. As if these upstanding members of society would ever harm a fly on purpose. I mean who’d ever believe a postman would go on a murderous killing spree? If Judge Judy was there she’d mop up the floor with them and their plaid shirts and bolo ties. Later than night a mighty wind blows through town bringing with it the vengful spirit of Bubba and the strong odor of fertilizer manure. Soon a possessed scarecrow starts showing up in empty fields near their homes to put the creeper jeepers on his murdering foes. It’s mostly an intimidation move but causes the guys to panic and start suspecting each other of breaking their secret.

What you gotta love  is throughout the film Otis never once changes his mailman uniform. I swear he must shower and slept in it. Impressive also is his ability to pack away the food like it’s a 99 cent buffet even after killing an innocent man. Buffet’s cower in his presence. Otis’s friends start showing up dead it what appears to be work related accidents. Falling into wood chippers, drownings in grain silos, typical farming mishaps. But Otis’s paranoia kicks into overdrive as his tiny pea brain theorizes that it’s Bubba’s grieving mother or the prosecuting attorney causing all the ruckus trying to get him to confess.

A stern warning from Otis accidentally gives Bubba’s mom a fatal heart attack and he then proceeds to off one of his buddies with a shovel to the back of the skull from fear he might tattle on him. This brings up the Ottis murder-meter total to 3, already beating out the scarecrow’s in just a few short days. That’s not to shabby for a middle aged government worker.

Later after a drab halloween party where he gets drunk on spiked apple cider, he ends up getting chased down in a corn field by a rusty John Deere and meets his much deserved and pointed ending. Serves him right for all that junk mail delivery. Oh and his stupid hat.

So go put the flag down on your mailbox, turn the lights down low and cuddle up with your favorite bag of hay. Retroman Steve says check it out and bring a pitchfork.

– Dorky postal jungle hats
– Scarecrow target practice
– Farmer mulchers
– Feed grain drowning
– Gratuitous pancake eating
– Fat guys running in fields
– Shovel to the head

Speaking of creepy scarecrows on TV, Scarecrow Spud on Bob the Builder is hands down the most frightening.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow Dark Night of the ScareCrow T-shirts available from Fright Rags

At Fright Rags you can get this high quality horror shirt you can’t find anywhere else. Fright Rags has the best selection of horror shirts based on your favorite cult classics, creature features, and slasher flicks! Check out the Dark Night of the Scarecrow T-shirts

Check out a scene from Dark Night of the Scarecrow


Comments Off on Night of the Creeps

Chris discovers Tom Cruise's scientology hyperbolic chamber, the only side effect is continual shrinkage

“Chris discovers Tom Cruise’s Scientology approved hyperbolic chamber. The only side effect is his continual shrinkage.”

I think college frat guys are getting an unfair stereotype in film. In most movies they’re portrayed as the dumb jock whose out to boink every co-ed they stumble across and that’s only if they can take enough time to put their beer can down. They initiate freshmen pledges by forcing  them to carry around stemmed cherries with their butt cheeks or having them steal the rival teams animal mascot and put in the dean’s new convertible. Their frat house are like a demilitarized zones littered with pizza boxes from last years graduating class and empty keg cans make up most of their furniture. The place is so gruesome sometimes you can count the ring of stains on the walls and figure out how old the building is. It’s not their fault and I think I know where the blame firmly lies…it’s the cheap beer. College frat guys are always broke and are forced to buy cheap beer which leads to binge drinking and eventually some guy who thinks he can fly off the roof if he wears a cape and an adult diaper (and I have the metal plate in my head to prove that.) I think the colleges should institute a fine imported beer requirement. They can only drink a few though because, well who can afford to drink any more. No more Pabst Blue Ribbon specials for those incoming pledges either, that’s just cruel. Freshly sobered, the dumb meat headed jock suddenly becomes a wine critic, an upstanding member of society, a consumer of fine cheeses and toothpicked snacks. Just think about it, no more streaking pledges across campus…because that’s really not that funny unless your drunk. No more belching the alphabet or lighting farts, again not funny unless your hammered. Pizza boxes are recycled into green friendly IKEA packaging, no more rowdy football games on the TV just Antique Roadshow re-runs and rush week turns into home and garden tours where….. wait you know what? On second thought I think they should just keep the cheap beers and wear those greek embroidered polo shirts. Their inner caveman will thank them for it later when they get married.
Speaking of frat guys who are no longer in control of their own brains. Night of the creeps has a whole bus load of them as helpless co-eds faceoff against zombified frat brothers whose brains are infested with alien slugs. Makes your last prom date not look so bad don’t it? Chris “don’t call me George” Romero is a red headed nerd in a sweater vest and J.C. is a wise talker in an arm brace walker out cruising around pledge week. Suddenly Chris spots Cindy Cronenberg, a pretty college girl with the voice of a chipmunk hooked on helium. Chris can’t resist a girl who looks like a super model but sounds like Rocky from a Bullwinkle cartoon so he has J.C. try to introduce him to her. Unfortunately his weak human ears can’t handle her vocal octaves so they have to pledge a fraternity to impress her instead. Brad, their fearless leader and king of polo pop-up collars sends them on a pledge mission to steal a corpse and drop it on the front lawn of a rival frat house. Nothing really says a fun greek week like rotting corpse lawn decor so Chris and J.C. break into a medical lab on campus hoping to score some fresh dead. They find a freeze dried corpse instead who had a close oral encounter with some alien slugs 40 years earlier. Why the med students decided to freeze this guy like a TV dinner is beyond me. “We have to preserve his tall hair style for future generations!”

Smart as a brick J.C. hits the child friendly release button and the corpse starts spitting out slugs from it’s head like a broken Pez dispenser. J.C. has such a big mouth it’s an easy target for the alien slugs so he soon gets zombified during a bathroom break and his failed burning toilet paper roll defense. Dead med students start walking, janitors are turned into mopping alien incubators, zombie dogs and cats living’s mass hysteria!

To save the world they get cop Detective Ray Cameron played pitch perfect by Tom Akins. Ray is hankering for some good old slug skeet shooting and blows the head off an infested axe murder earlier just to warm up. Meanwhile Chris and Cindy are torching some slugs-ka-bobs outside the sorority house and mulching their lawn with frat guy’s innards. Detective Cameron  fights off more zombies inside the house dirty Harry style and gets to deliver one of the great lines in b-movie history “The good news is your dates are here…the bad news is they’re dead.” That’s pure movie gold right there. The slugs have all gathered in the basement to munch on some freshly canned brain preserves and Detective Cameron has got a can of gasoline just waiting to start the pyrotechnic grand finale. If you’ve seen the more recent movie called Slither directed by James Gunn then you’ll see the direct influence of this classic 80’s horror slug-fest on that story. Now if the owners of this film would just release the darn movie rights already so we could watch it on DVD. In the meantime you’ll just have to sift through some old VCR tapes bargain bins to find this little horror gem. Retroman Steve says check it out and be sure to bring some matches.

Roadside Attractions

– 3 naked alien midgets
– 1 sorority house explosion
– 1 corpsicle
– 1 fratastic bus crash
– 1 cat of the living dead
– Doggy slug-dispensers
– Canned brain storage
– Peeping tom zombies
– Lawn slug exterminators
– Zombie mowing and landscape services

rated 8.6 out of 10 for the movie

The most popular fraternities on my campus? I Felta Thigh and Kappa Tappa Kegga

Check out the trailer for Night of the Creeps


posted by admin | December 24, 2008 | Action, B-movies, Grindhouse, Kung-fu, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on A Christmas Story: Grindhouse Edition


  • If you don’t treat Santa nice he’ll put you on ice.
  • Ralphie has a present for you, a double barrel shot gun of death!
  • Naughty…nice…It doesn’t matter…Ralphie’s the guy with the gun.
  • Santa is belted, buckled, booted, and ready for action.
  • A double dog dare you of death!


Ralphie is a CIA operative who has been working the mean streets of New York for nearly 9 years. His latest assignment is as an undercover mobster within a powerful cartel family called the Parkers. The cartel is run by an overbearing drunken father referred to as “The Old Man.” He’s been selling bunk cocaine from the trunk of his Oldsmobile while the mother, a struggling go-go dancer, sells her homemade stews on the street to help buy more mashed potatoes for the mute brother Randy, it’s the only food he can digest. Mr. Parker collects erotic memorabilia including a highly valuable leg sculpture he imported from the little known southern island of Fragile. It’s his most prized possession.

One brisk winter day, the sculpture gets destroyed in a lower east side drive by. An apparent attack by the Bumpuseses gang, a ruthless group of southern rednecks who have an affinity for training large rabid attack dogs. Mr. Parker however believes it was in an inside job and that he has a rat among his associates. Later that day Ralphie tries to extract some information about the drive-by from Scut Farkus, a freckled face yellow eyed physcopath who demands everyone call him “Uncle.” Dangerous and unpredictable, he wears a hat made of human scalps and will break the arm of anyone who even look at him crossed eyed.

Ralphie hopes to track down his red rider assault rifle which he believes was used in attack on the Parker’s home and could be traced back to him. He beats Scut Furkus senselessy in a back alley until Scut confesses that he’s just a low level henchman for a rich city pimp known as “Big Red.” Big Red is a Santa impersonator at the local mall but is a cover for his underground white slave trade and has an even bigger hatred for Mr. Parker than the city cops. When Ralphie and Randy show up at his headquarters, they get surprised with a trap door that sends them both plummeting to the city streets below where some elve henchmen beat them to a pulp. Battered and bruised, Ralphie finds help from a local teacher known for her strict rules and deathly assassin moves. A teacher and martial arts master so ruthless she is rumored to have nailed a student’s tongue to a flag pole just for him being disrespectful.

After a lengthy recovery and training, Ralphie receives a secret coded message over the radio  from agent Annie who’s been tracking him and his mission’s progress. Project “Drink Your Ovaltine” is a go for Christmas day as a big drug shipment disguised as kid’s chocolate drinks is heading up state. Upon return to the family, Ralphie cover is blown from a phoned-in tip from Flick, a fellow mobster who suspected he might be a cop when he witnessed him talking into his secret decoder ring. Held prisoner at the Parker home Ralphie endures a series of tortures including being gagged with soap and forced to wear a pink bunny suit all for the amusement of the cartel. At his darkest hour a mysterious package arrives at the door bearing a tag that reads “A gift from Santa.” Inside is his red-rider assault rifle loaded and ready for action. He breaks free, grabs the gun and takes out the guards with extreme prejudice. Escaping through a broken window and nearly losing his eye in the process he drives  away in the family’s Oldsmobile. Flat tire and cursing under his breath he eventually makes his way to Chinatown and finds refuge as a fry cook in a small Chinese restaurant. Ralphie now in federal protection, hopes to never be found by the Parkers who want his head on a platter. From that day on the eye patched operative must always watch over his shoulders as the last words from Mr. Parker still haunt him… “Not a finger!” “Not a finger!”

Merry Christmas..Can you dig it suckas?

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