Archive for the 'Reviews by the Goon' Category

Jan

posted by admin | January 7, 2013 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Reviews by the Goon

Comments Off on Dead City

Dead City

Don’t get me started on zombie films. In a nutshell, there are too many of them and they don’t offer anything different: Same makeup, same stupid hissing sounds and same plots. But take this little gem from the mid 90’s. Here’s a little movie from The Necro Files director Matt Jaissle that offers a different spin on the zombie genre, much like Dead Heat was a zombie movie. Now that I think about it, you could also compare this movie to Universal Soldier, only with a mullet clad hero instead of Van Damme. That’s a good thing.

Anyway, onto the movie! Dr. Bloom played by Bill Hinzman, who I barely recognized behind that hunky mustache… or maybe it’s because his face wasn’t painted grey and he wasn’t chomping down on a boobie, has discovered a way to reanimate dead tissue. I guess Herbert West should have patented that. The good doctor had to borrow money from the mob to fund this little science fair project and they are dubbed as ‘Cybernetic Zombie Assassins’ or CZA’s. Kinda catchy. Actually, it kinda sounds like a member of the Wu Tang Clan. The CZA’s are draped in black trench coats and these weird Mortal Kombat ninja masks with goggles and tubes. Come to think of it, they kinda look like the Augers from Night Trap. Did you ever play that? Good lord. So as one may have figured, the doctor has a change of heart (some BS about moral issues, I dunno) and the mob boss Francis has him gunned down. Francis is the kind of guy who does indeed wear his sunglasses at night so he can keep track of the visions in his eyes. He also slicks his hair back with about several gallons of shoe polish and wears black suits that he probably lifted from a funeral home and has a very ‘snake-like’ face. But that’s just my opinion. He’s a greaseball. That’s what I’m trying to say.

Dead CityEnter Dr. Bloom’s son, Taylor (the mullet guy I mentioned earlier) who looks kinda like if Kyle Reese had a severe addiction to gravy and painkillers. Taylor is all like, “Where’s my dad?” And Dr. Bloom’s porky, drunk lab assistant Russell is all like, “He’s dead, bro.” Then Taylor is all like, “Bro?” Then Russell is like, “Bro.” Well it wasn’t quite like that, but you get the idea. Taylor and Russell decide they are going to use the CZA’s to get revenge on the mobsters. But first, they have to rebuild all the CZA’s in a sweet 80’s montage! Or should I say 90’s? Either way, it’s awesome! That is until the bucket of ice cold water to the groin of a girlfriend of Taylor, Heather. Basically, her role is small and simple: Try to be the moral compass and tell them the revenge plan isn’t a good idea. Pbbt, stupid girl.

Taylor goes along with his plan anyway, because he is pissed off, so to hell with everyone and their stupid feelings! This dude has some major daddy issues and pretty much has a jock mentality of just beating the crap out of everything as an answer. So the CZA’s kill the mob and then wander off and start killing everyone. And by everyone I mean a couple people, two of which are cops who don’t call for back up and scream at each other like they are trying to talk over some loud noises that aren’t there.  Taylor realizes that he must set out to stop them, only to get stabbed in the chest by a CZA with Wolverine style claws. However, Russell and Taylor know that if they bring him back as a CZA, then he can stop them once and for all! It’s actually not a bad plan. Although in an earlier scene, the CZA gang up on Taylor, who only has a shotgun, but they run away when his girlfriend shows up. I guess the CZA’s biggest weakness is frizzy ladies’ 90’s hair.

Dead CityOh remember that mob boss? Yeah, he comes back as a CZA too, but with this goofy cartoon chipmunk voice. Apparently he had his own group of scientist copy the same serum that Dr. Bloom created. So why would he keep funding a project if he already had what he was after? To be more evil, of course!

Dead City, also called Legion of the Night, is a low budget, cheesy good time. The entire cast chews scenery like a kid chews Big League Chew: big slurpy gulps. It’s a lot of fun to watch and worth a couple laughs. The only downside is there really isn’t enough to satisfy any gore hound. The movie tends to shy away in that department.

Regardless of my small complains, this one comes highly recommended. The Legion commands it!

“The version I had the honor of seeing was a limited release from local VHS aficionados Vultra Video. They brought the best copy they could get a hold of and produced this video, so please check out their site www.vultravideo.com.

roadside attractions

  • Evil Mob Boss Grease?
  • Foul Mouthed Renegades
  • ?Homeless(er) Kyle Reese?
  • Augers!?
  • Wolverine Ninja Skillz!
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

A few squibs. Pip, pip, pip.

3

blood

BREASTS

One set of gozangas

9

beast

BEASTS

Sure those CZA are deadly, but these Mobster’s grease are just as deadly!

7.6 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Dead City” aka “Legion of the Night”

trailers

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Dec

Comments Off on our picks for best post-apocalyptic films

The Mayans may have just punked us for armageddon so we thought it might be best to get our favorite post-apocalyptic films online just in case they forgot daylight savings. Sure the Mayans brought us corn and mayonaise but they could have never predicted these films of the apocalypse. So without further ado, here’s our mutant editor’s picks.


Di-Anne Takillya’s Pick: “Escape from New York”

Escape From New York: My favorite above all other post-apocalyptic movies; The president’s plane has crash-landed in the New York penal colony, and they’ve gotta get him out! But how? Send in the ultimate in bad-assery, Snake Plissken! The eyepatch wearin’, scruffy-cheeked, leather-clad assassin is basically shanghaied by the government to go get the President back. He’s given a glider, a tracker, and a gun, then dropped over the fence. He meets up with a cabbie who runs the streets like the Devil hisseself is at his heels, and joins forces with The Brain and Adrienne Barbeau to pry the president from the clutches of The Duke. (Who, incidentally, is A-Number 1, and don’t you forget it!) Chock full of fights, sneaking around, and horrible (early) computer graphics, you get your top-secret cassette tape’sworth out of this flick. I watch this movie almost religiously; which is getting rough on my liver, because if you watch the movie like I do, you take a drink every time someone says, “Snake,” “Plissken,” “Duke,” or “President.”

I can’t go this whole time without mentioning that Donald Plesance plays the president, and you can tell that Dr. Loomis has done very well for himself, except for now The Duke is holding him for ransom, and The Duke is one bad mother- Shut your mouth! Hey, I’m just talking about The Duke! He’s debasing and humiliating the president, and that just won’t be tolerated! The Snake… Plisskin busts him loose, and the chase is on! Blam, boom, POW! The president is safe, long live democracy! A happy, or at least as happy an ending as John Carpenter will allow, which I think is good when the apocalypse is going down. At least there aren’t any aliens or the anti-Christ!

Tiger Sixon’s Pick: “The Road Warrior”

Resource scarcity is a scary thing, be it water, Twinkies, or as Road Warrior (aka Mad Max 2) warns us, clothing. Wait, I mean gasoline. There seems to be a shortage of pants as well for some reason, as leather underwear is pretty much the standard workplace attire. As a post-apocalyptic fable, Road Warrior nails it: civilization has gone to hell (at least in Australia. Things might be slightly better in Milwaukee), gasoline is worth more than gold, and it is survival of the fittest.

And like any great b-movie, Road Warrior has a villain wearing a goalie mask: The Humungus. He speaks a bit more than Jason too, or heck even Max himself. That’s right, Mel Gibson, back before he went off the deep end, only has about four lines. Maybe five an’ half. I ain’t counting grunts an’ groans neither. That would probably bump him up to about ten.

Survival is a main theme of Road Warrior, as in bein’ able to survive on what ya can. If that means eatin’ dog food, so be it. If that means picking over corpses for music boxes, OK. And if’n that means having to sew yer own leather jackets or underoos, then go for it. Yes, Road Warrior is pretty much a documentary survival. Except super-violent and full of desolation. But, if you look past all the sand, blood, and leather, Road Warrior teaches ya a few things.

The most important of which might be: “Don’t try to catch a razor sharp boomerang with yer bare hands.”

Tiger Sixon says, Road Warrior is a must watch.

General Relativity’s Pick: “Waterworld.”

I am from the future, so to me what you call a “post-apocalyptic thriller” is what I would call a “documentary.”  Of these, Waterworld most accurately portrays the poisoned ecological hellscape you people have inflicted upon my present.  Sure, they laughed at Kevin Costner back in 1995, but now that your cities are flooding, and the fish and polar bears are dying, and the rains have stopped, I don’t see anyone giggling.  Just wait until the fish-people start showing up.


Also, “Waterworld” is hilarious.  I mean, the dude drinks his pee.  And there is our dearly departed Dennis Hopper in a performance second only to his turn in “Super Mario Brothers.”  And Jane Tripplehorn was at her hottest in 1995.  And how did those horses survive on Everest?  Wouldn’t the Yetis rule the Earth?  These questions aside, I recommend you start saving up your dirt to use as money, because you want to be in the 1% when the ice caps flood and the evil jet ski pirates show up for your trimaran.  Dry land is not a myth!


The Doktor’s Pick: “Hell Comes to Frogtown”

Michael Stipe said it best when he said, “Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.” Personally that song gives me the diarrhea (cha, cha, cha), but that’s neither here nor there.

Speaking of painful colonic discharge, how’s about that Mayan end o’ the world stuff? If this is the end of the world, I feel fine. Mostly because the end is like every other day. Mostly.

What would be awesome is if the end of the world was exactly like Hell Comes to Frogtown. The frog mutant creatures would be a bummer, but getting chauffeured in a 50’s panel van with a M60 machine gun, piloted by Sandahl “Valeria” Bergman and Cec Verrell would more than make up for it.

Here’s the gist: Nuclear war mutates frogs into mutant frog men creatures, sterilizes most of humanity and kills off most of the men. Into this arena comes a man, Sam Hell (Roddy “Hot Rod” Piper). Naturally, it’s his duty to get up in that boo— I, erhm, mean, he is sought after for his milk of mannesia, as it were, by the provisional government to help bolster the human population. The only problem is, the fertile virgins he has to impregnate are in the clutches of Commander Toty, the evil leader of the greenies, a derogatory term for the frog people. So Sam, Spangle and Centinella have to make a trip to Frogtown to get ‘em back. Can he do it? Hell yeah! It’s Roddy “Nada” Piper. Duh!

Giallo Goon’s Pick: “Future Force”

In the distant future 1991, so the distant future about twenty years ago, crime was at an all time high. The cops are no longer in control, so they were sold to a corporation (no, not OCP) who then rounded up the rootinest, tootenest rowdy bounty hunters there ever were. They were judge, jury and executioners. They were known as Judges… oh, sorry. I was thinking of a better movie. These dupes are known as COPS. I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, so they fired the cops and formed COPS?” Yup. Civilian Operated Police… Something. I can’t really remember what the ‘S’ stood for. So why wouldn’t they just give the police more power or declare martial law? Look, it’s all very complicated, but in a few words, you wouldn’t have David Carradine drunkenly beat people up. Carradine plays the lone wolf on a justice mission, John Tucker. He has the quickest draw and the meanest attitude. Cleary a healthy candidate to be dishing out lethal justice.

So in a huge shocking twist, turns out the CEO of this corporation (we are going to call them Evil Co), is *choke* *gasp* a bad guy! A TV reporter who will later become the pale, pasty love interest to Tucker, catches wind of all his wrong doings. A bounty is put on her head and Tucker intercepts her, only to learn the truth. Together, they fight through waves of mulleted thugs and misinformed mulleted COPS and finally take on the villain himself in the ultimate battle of good and evil. Tucker does this with the most advanced form of weaponry: A remote controlled, groin socking, laser shooting power glove! This advanced piece of death technology is at Tucker’s disposable whenever he needs, which is like twice. He could seriously use it all the time and it would save him so much trouble, but he only uses it at the beginning to show off his cool toys and then at the end to remind you so you go, ‘Oh yeah, I thought he had that thing.’ Nothing can stop him. Not the hundreds of thousands of bullets shot by machine guns, snipers, grenades, thugs with knives, people punching him in his doughy mid section or literally the dozens of jack booted thugs in leather vests that pile drive him. Nothing will stop Tucker from getting to the ultimate truth: That he was once in Kung Fu.

So if you like seeing ripped denim and eye patched thugs with the coolest hair styles in a post apocalyptic 90’s (sorry, Full House has been canceled… perminately!) or watching a drunken David Carradine phone in a performance and stumble around and slur cheesy one liners all to hair feathering 90’s rock, then Future Force is for you!

Oh and the best part… there is a sequel, Future Zone!

Barry Goodall’s Pick: “Zardoz”

Some movies make perfect sense. Movies like “the Godfather” , “Star Wars” or “Breaking 2: Electric Boogalloo”  But others take you to a whole new level of weird and incomprehensible. A place where reality and time don’t matter. A dimension where you’ll find the movies like “Zardoz” waiting for you.

But what exactly is a Zardoz? Well, it’s not a new cholesterol drug but it could have some of the same long lasting side effects.. dizziness, upset stomach, a lost of free will. It could have been a 80’s hairband since it contains many of the same outfits. Zardoz is actually a giant floating head that upchucks guns and ammo to aborigines like an NRA bulimic. Sean Connery is our post apocalyptic hero in a leather man-kini who hides inside the giant noggin’ and shoots the pilot right above his drawn on mustache. Why? because he’s James Bond wearing hooker boots that’s why!

The head flies him to the Vortex, a land of cellophaned house plants and lazy immortals needing Viagara. That’s where he’s kept as a pet forced to watch 70’s porn and have tests performed on him, usually involving sharp things poked at his crotch. He escapes to a retirement home where a bunch of old people can’t die but are forced to listen to ragtime  music and wear their prom outfits for eternity. Feeling sorry for all the old folk, He invites his aboriginal friends into the vortex to put them out of their misery. Oh, and there’s boobies…lots of boobies. So much nudity I felt overdressed watching it. At some point in the film Sean Connery wears a full on wedding gown… I passed out from shock & horror, “Double oh please make this stop!”  Yes, this movie was bad but it was based on the Wizard of Oz book which makes perfect sense if you’re taking experimental drugs living in a 70’s commune. Barry Goodall says check it out and If you feel the same  way then congratulations, you’ve been Zardozed. Now go get a job you dirty hippy.

Oct

Comments Off on The Dorm That Dripped Blood

If the title doesn’t capture your attention, then something is wrong with your neural net processor (that’s brain for you laymen). Presented totally uncut, The Dorm That Dripped Blood (a play on the title The Room That Dripped Blood, perhaps?) at the surface appears as a copycat slasher, mostly emulating Friday the 13th and Halloween, but it has more substance than that. The relationship between the characters is well developed, the atmosphere is dark and moody like a fall evening, the score sounds like a small orchestra (which sounds overplayed and you kinda wish they went for a simple keyboard/synthesizer score to play the scenes for subtly) and the special effects are great and gory!

Believe it or not, this movie is set during the Christmas season, although you could easily miss that since there is no snow or holiday music, two things that are associated with that time of year. You may think that is irrelevant to the plot, but what better way to clear out a college campus, all but a few students that are staying to clear out a dorm before demolition, a very unfortunate situation… and they haven’t even realized they are being stalked by a killer!

Dorms that dripped bloodThe movie opens right up with someone being chased and murdered, which is a way to catch your attention, but then we jump into a party with Joanne, who is growing distant from her boyfriend Tim. Our heroine Joanne is joined by her friends, all playing a somewhat stereotyped role to the slasher genre. You have young, naïve Debbie who is played Daphne Zuniga (who would later go on to be in Spaceballs as the Princess), Bryan the possible love interest, Craig the wise guy and Patty the frightened one. I know in any other movie, you would be able to guess their roles and what order they die or who lives, but The Dorm That Drips Blood does something a little different with them.

The caretaker Bill is also present, but doesn’t really interact with the group of kids. Only to inform them that one of his drills is missing… hmm… Also stalking around the campus is local weirdo John Hemmit who looks like he should be searching the dumpsters for a comb instead of garbage. Speaking of garbage, Joanne befriends Bobby Lee Tremble, a local salesman buying tables from the college and also hitting on Joanne. It doesn’t matter that Bobby Lee is tied to another woman, another woman that we only see in a scene later on just so we can get the obligatory breast shot, he is all about seeing Joanne again.

The film paces its kills a good pace. Not too early, not too late. Almost like we are be treated to a three course meal. Rather than wait until the end of the film to cross off its characters, The Dorm That Dripped Blood not only starts with a tame kill, but shortly after the beginning, one of our characters parents are brutally murdered by a nail bat and strangulation and then proceeds to run over their child’s head! And yes, you will see the aftermath of it. Lesson learned, never help out your friends at a college when everyone else has gone home. The goriest and best looking kill by far is when one of the characters gets a power drill (Oh hey, that’s where that went!) to the back of their head. You see the drill crack and rip apart the back of their skull and spray blood all over the room. Another one of the cast is boiled alive and another is hacked to pieces. It’s a movie that goes for intense, brutal kills that are played out rather than quick cuts shying away from the violence, like most slashers at the time.

The Dorm that dripped bloodThe film will also plays with the ‘who done it’ aspect, but does it subtly, so you keep guessing, but you aren’t overwhelmed by the mystery. I honestly kept guessing and changing my guess. Was it Tim? He’s seems angry enough. Maybe it’s Bryan. He has the hots for Joanne, but that would be too obvious, so maybe it’s that weird guy? He’s so bizarre, but that’s what they want me to think. By the time you find out who the killer is, it doesn’t really make sense, but when they give you the reason, it doesn’t really pay off. Because the killer loves her? It’s perhaps the most typical thing about this movie and it feels like such a copout, but the dark and unexpected ending makes up for it and leaves one reminiscing about the ending to Bob Clark’s Black Christmas.

Synapse released the Blu-Ray/DVD combo, which is the uncensored Director’s cut called Death Dorm. From a technical standpoint, at times, the blacks look washed out with blues or yellows, but it’s not overwhelming. Edges look sharp, objects pop out and a lot of the noise and grain is cleaned up. They left enough of grain and blacks in the film, so it still feels dark and alarming. The only audio mix, however, is 2.0 mono (I personally prefer this for older horror films rather than remixing it in 5.1) so it has that very radio sound and feel to it. You can even listen to the score isolated! It does have some special features, such as audio commentary with Directors Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter, a few interviews with crew members, trailers and in traditional Synapse form, a reversible cover (the original US artwork entitled Pranks).

This is film is surprisingly overlooked and I would put it up with the greats like Twitch of the Death Nerve and Black Christmas. There are few dull moments, something is always happening and you believe the relationship between these kids. The dark, twisted ending was a nice surprise and I urge everyone to see this.

roadside attractions

  • Batter up!
  • Road Rage
  • Driller Killerer
  • Simon or Garfunkle?
  • Bobby Lee, the Man of Men
  • Human Stew
  • Black Christmas Syndrome
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Smothers it on think, like if there was some kind of butter gravy.

6

blood

BREASTS

Just one, but it is initializing and glorious.

7

beast

BEASTS

The killer isn’t the only creepy dude on campus, bro.

8.5 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “The Dorm That Dripped Blood”

trailers

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Aug

Comments Off on Rawhead Rex

rawhead rex

I sit before you with a migraine, angry, writing this piece. Ahem. I remember checking out some graphic novels at a local Hastings store when I was a kid. One by Clive Barker in particular caught my. It was called Rawhead Rex and at the time, it was one of the most violent and shocking graphic novels I had seen. I was young and comics to me meant something like X-Men and Batman, but this… this was a whole other beast. Gore and foul language filled each page as Rex devoured villagers and children. I remember being stunned that he was totally nude and reminded me of the Alien from… well, Alien. Shortly thereafter, my brother and I saw the VHS at the same store. We were totally shocked this was made into a movie. How could the censors allow such a thing? We had to see it so we rented it immediately.

rawhead rexRemember that one Christmas as a kid where you asked for Top Gun on Nintendo, but instead you got the Top Gun Tiger Electronics Game?

Yeah, so there is this guy Howard Hallenbeck who is on holiday with his wife and two kids in Ireland to research some religious doo-dads for a book he’s writing. What a convenient set up for him. So where does Rex come in? A couple of farmers are trying to remove a phallic like structure (wouldn’t be a Clive Barker movie without one) and eventually it gets struck by lightning and BOOM! Instant demon!

Now here’s where it gets disappointing as I previously mentioned. It didn’t take the movie too long to get to this point.

Rex is… nothing like he looks like in the book. In the book, he was described as a nine foot tall phallus with teeth (…yup). And how does he look in the movie? He looks like Kane Hodder in a goofy Halloween mask with those blinking red LED lights and an S & M suit. And just like I did when I saw this as a kid, my face froze in a state of shock. I didn’t know if I should laugh or be angry. So I did both.

With Rex’s arrival, an alter at the local church becomes hot like a stove and a priest or deacon or whatever religious status he has by the name of Declan O’Brien touches it and sees visions of Rex and all his chaos. This blows his mind and he goes bonkers. Although I think it was unintentional, this guy becomes something of the comic relief character.

rawhead rexNot much to comment on anymore. Rex runs around eating people, one being Howard’s son, which was graphic in the comic, but here it’s only implied through edits. Sigh. Rex lazily slashes at people as what looks like ketchup is slapped on as special effects and people fall down and die. So by now, you’re just waiting for the movie to be over, but luckily O’Brien offers some of the funniest dialogue, with odd combinations of swearing at the top of his lungs and cackling like a madman. Best part of the film is when Rex ‘baptizes’ him by peeing all over O’Brien and he laughs like an idiot the entire time. I think I rewound this part like eight or nine times.

Finally your wish comes true and the movie draws to a close. Howard finds some relic that can kill Rex, but *choke* *gasp* it doesn’t work! Then his wife comes from out of nowhere and apparently, it had to be the power of a female to kill Rex. This could have worked… if they didn’t set this plot device up in the final ten seconds! Seriously, you could have built up to it. I know, they probably wanted to give the female character something to do instead of just being in the background, but that’s all she was up until this point! So they kill him, some kid puts flowers on a grave and Rex’s emerges from the ground and roars, as if this movie merited a sequel.

Come to think of it, in the graphic novel, I believe the villagers got together and pillaged him. That would have been way better. I also heard rumors of a remake a few years back, but nothing since. Clive Barker was wise to discredit this movie. Boo.

roadside attractions

  • Giant hamburgers
  • Raw-ha-ha-head Rex
  • Peed on Preacher
  • Children-O’s
  • Ireland
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

About as mild as the Hot Sauce at Taco Bell. Whatever that means

3

blood

BREASTS

I think one instant on pregnant woman? Ew.

4

beast

BEASTS

FEAR RAWHEAD REX! If you don’t die from laughter first

6.0 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Rawhead Rex”

trailers

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Jul

posted by admin | July 29, 2012 | 80's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Reviews by the Goon

Comments Off on Unhinged

Unhinged

Unhinged is a film I remember seeing various VHS box covers for when I was a child. I would hear tales of its shocking and disturbing story and atmosphere, over the top violence and gore and a twist ending that would leave you scarred. Fast forward to my mid twenties; I’m browsing the horror DVD’s at a local FYE (Don’t ask me why I was there. I guess I felt like being overcharged for something) and I come across Unhinged. At first, I didn’t recognize it, but the box shows a woman’s face, wide eyed and covered in blood. After reading the synopsis on the back I realized this was that notorious Video Nasty I heard so many legends about… but my expectations were about to be crushed.

Have you ever heard a story from a friend that he from his friends and they heard from their friends… and so on? It becomes so exaggerated and diluted that when you finally see it, it was overhyped, underwhelming and you find yourself surprised at how this film, Unhinged, managed to make it on the Video Nasty List. And keep in mind that the DVD is the uncensored version.

The story to Unhinged is nothing new, mind you. Three girls on their way to some jazz concert or something (I don’t know. The beginning of the story is smothered in boobs and what they are talking about goes by so fast) and they go off the road and are rescued by a creepy family. Well, they are rescued by the family’s helper, Norman, who looks a lot like Burt Reynolds. Films like ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, ‘Tourist Trap’ or even ‘Just Before Dawn’ may be racing through your head. Well, that’s because you’ve seen this scenario dozens of times before. It’s nothing original, it’s nothing new. It’s your ‘stranded-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-with-crazies-but-I’m-staying-here-when-I-should-just-leave’ plot. The family consists of Marion, the creepy and odd daughter of Nancy. Nancy doesn’t do much except kinda sit around and chew scenery. She hates men; the film decided they needed to hammer this only important piece of information into your head. So, I’m gonna go ahead and skip several drawn out dinner scenes (clearly trying to emulate some Texas Chainsaw Massacre there) and tell you. Her husband was institutionalized. Yup. See where this is headed?

unhingedWhether it’s the girls or Marion and her mother, they all seem to share bad chemistry. Their dialogue is clunky, seems unrealistic and the actors are seemingly rushing through their lines just to get to the end and pausing so the other may speak. This is bad when you are relying on your audience to attach themselves to your characters. Much like how we felt bad for the girls in ‘The Last House on the Left’. We got to know these girls and they were tortured, but here… you just don’t care. I caught myself thinking about how I should arrange my DVD’s.

They do actually create some tension though. One of the girls is out of commission for quite some time in the film (and you have to wonder why it took the girls till the SECOND DAY to check on their friend) and at night, they hear someone breathing that becomes increasingly louder.  Later, they find it to be some creepy dude and I have to be honest here: I totally forgot what his relation was to the people of the house (ANSWER: His name is Carl and it’s Marion’s brother). And I had to look that up, but that proves my point. You don’t invest yourself in these characters. But yeah, you know how the rest goes; the main girl is chased finds her dead friends and confronts Marion, who actually… in a surprising twist… is a dude!

I’m going to break my mold for a bit. I usually try to talk about the movie in a few paragraphs, trying to spoil as little as possible, but with a movie like Unhinged, there isn’t really much to talk about. As I said, you’ve seen this type of movie before. But, now that I’ve talked about it, I’d like to talk about what it was the movie was trying to accomplish in a period where movies were confusing blood and body counts as scary.

Unhinged The DVD does offer an interview with the director on a local Portland, Oregon (the cast and crew were all natives from there) TV channel that is actually kind of insightful, for as short as it is. Don Gronquist states that he wanted to create a movie that horror movies don’t need a high body count to be scary and that’s what he wanted to do with Unhinged. Make a creepy movie that didn’t focus on blood and bodies for scares. And I have to totally agree. This is the reason I like Unhinged. It made a bold attempt to break away from what was popular and safe to sell tickets and instead really tried to go back to using atmosphere and twists as true horror…which I believe that’s what it should be about. Sure, blood and guts are nice, but they don’t scare you. They disgust you. Horror isn’t blood. Horror is truly being frightened to look over your shoulder or to walk down your hallway in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the film borrowed elements that were too familiar and didn’t do anything new with them. Sure, the film isn’t frightening, but it can be creepy at moments.

I say watch the film. Sure the acting is hammy at best (Marion being the only well portrayed character), every death scene is someone getting stabbed off screen then getting blood splashed on their face, but it’s entertaining and definitely doesn’t deserve all the negative feedback it gets.

Also, the DVD offers a few bonus features. One is an audio commentary track featuring five “comics” attempting to riff the film, but it ends up being five obnoxious, drunk loudmouths talking over each other. Oh and it’s not funny.

roadside attractions

  • Burt Reynolds Stunt Double
  • Last House on the Left Nod
  • Gender Conusion-A-Tron
  • Peeping Tom-ism
  • Worst Friends Ever
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Yes there is blood in the film, but you could also say there is silverware.

7

blood

BREASTS

A couple of full frontal shower scenes over important exposition, so pay attention!

9

beast

BEASTS

A mean ol’ Granny, a bearded peeping tom and a gender confused psycho! A family that makes the Bundy’s look civil.

7.0 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Unhinged”

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 >>