Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings (1993)

Although this film is slightly out of the time period for my movie reviews, I included it because it's the sequel to the 1998 horror classic Pumpkinhead which I rated Very Good. Unfortunately this sequel was made on the cheap and it definitely shows.
The bright spots are begin with Pumkinhead himself which is still a wonderful and creative monster design. I freakin' love the way he looks and even though there is a different production company in charge of the beast, he still looks great.

The second bright spot is Andrew Robinson [Hellraiser, The Puppetmaster] who plays the sherif in this small rural town. Unfortunately, most of the other actors around him are really weak. I give him credit for trying his best but he looks a little frustrated with the incompetence which surrounds him.

The major weak point of P2 is the script. The opening scene is really great and gave me hope that it would be a solid movie. However, the story then violates all the "rules" regarding Pumpkinhead that were so carefully set up in the first film. [I hate when that happens!] He is not a revenge demon in P2 but is, somehow, the resurrected form of the person who died in the opening scene. Boo! Hiss!

If there is another horror franchise that deserves to be remade, the is it! The monster is great and with the right script and more money, it could be a fun and enjoyable horror ride. Just don't expect much from this tepid sequel.

RATING: Fair.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hell High (1989)

If there was ever a mis-titled film, this is it. Hell High does involve high school students [Although they are Beverly Hills 90210 High School students who look about 25-30 years old!] But the focus is really on the Biology teacher who witnessed a traumatic event in her childhood. When she students start to bully her, she looses her shit and goes on a killing spree. [Trust me, her victims deserve it.] So a better title would help because I was expecting this to take place in the school but very little of it does.

Hell High is predictable slasher stuff with no creativity whatsoever. You see everything coming from the beginning of the film. Yet, this does not mean it's a poorly made movie. In fact, one-time-only director Douglas Grossman does a better job than some veteran directors who have multiple movies attached to their names. He makes this movie work given its limitations.

Therefore, it's not bad but its not good either. In the end, its simply uninteresting. Given the plethora of Dead Teenager movies that were spawned after the success of Friday the 13th, there are too many other great options to watch if you're in the mood for this kind of hour movie.

RATING: Fair.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Day the World Ended (1955)


Day the World Ended is a post apocalyptic melodrama that feels like a 1950's version of The Walking Dead. Director Roger Corman [Masque of the Red Death, The Raven] had no budget to work with but manages to make the film look like a first-rate picture…that is until we get the full reveal of the monster. Corman wisely shows us on small bits and pieces of the beast so it keeps things interesting and suspenseful. When we finally see it in full figure, however, it looks like a Halloween costume that was picked up in a discount bin at Wal-mart. Disappointing to say the least.

This is a shame because the rest of the film is pretty good as a character study of how people behave when resources are limited and survival is the main issue at hand. This is where its Walking Dead-ness kicks in. Fans of the show will find it to be familiar territory. The acting is solid and the story holds together without a lot of ridiculous pseudo-science. Yes, there are explanations for everything that is happening but they are quite convincing.

Thanks for Corman's direction, much of this film is effective. It's a shame that the climax is killed by a poorly designed monster.

Rating: Fair.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.