Known in the VHS underworld for its rare big box, the cheap Lunch Meat stumbles with shoddy amateur camera work and off screen violence. The first half is actually (relatively) watchable as we anticipate any gore or screwed-up acts to come, while getting to know the goof ball characters. Unfortunately Lunch Meat flat lines. The second half is nothing but all-male hillbilly cannibals–who are more like the four stooges–chasing young adults in the forest. Oh the humanity. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
Sorta similiar: Just Before Dawn, Don’t Go in the Woods, Hills Have Eyes (1977), Splatter Farm
A disturbed boy lures victims to a sinkhole containing humanoid wolf (or ape?)-like creatures referred to as “tra la logs.” Before you can make sense of it, an elderly blind woman is hurriedly pushed in a wheelchair, flailing her arms before she is dumped into the tra la’s dwelling. The Pit is actually a unique horror-comedy, intentionally (you can tell by the music). That’s great and all but this is one of the few films of the era that needs to be drastically improved with a sequel. Instead of a sloppy mess where local police officers make goofy appearances, the premise of the creatures being fed bodies by an insane kid who obeys his teddy bear is begging to be re-worked into something dark, scary and memorable. Recommended if you like Troll 2 for its non-acting or Burial Ground for its strangeness. [rating: $6] –Kenyon
While not one of the best-made Italian zombie efforts, Burial Ground is unique within the sub-genre. Lumbering yet somewhat intelligent undead terrorize a small group of brainless visitors to a rural mansion. After a formulaic first half, business picks up with numerous unforgettable scenes and one-liners. An overwhelmingly awkward little man portraying a boy can be credited for the increasingly twisted chaos. Goofy, gory and outrageous. [rating: $7] –Kenyon
Though it can be considered a slasher, Splatter U doesn’t follow most “rules” of a slasher. For that it is admirable. Unfortunately its innocence is the movie’s downfall, as it swivels between genuine horror and a spoof. The identity crisis is further shown by the misleading VHS cover, as there are certainly no cheerleaders.
Perhaps the most ironic broken rule is that several meat-head male characters are never threatened. Oh and they are assholes, (poorly) acting rude, obnoxious, selfish and sexist. The worst is that these people are at a UNIVERSITY yet they don’t carry any books, they skip class, cheat on papers and tests and drink a lot of beer. Sometimes it’s amusing but there’s too much. The movie is 80 minutes, for christ’s sake!
As far as the “splatter” goes, it’s tame. A knife goes in and watery blood spills. No intestines or anything. In fact the only thing that doesn’t have a low standard is the lead female. Lucky for Splatter, it was released early enough in the 80s to at least be considered classic camp. [rating: $5]
This stereotypical low-end slasher–depicted inaccurately on the cover art–is worth a look for its pitiful acting and script as well as for its entertaining butcherings. A deranged man with no personality uses various weapons to slice and dice the friends of his estranged son. Oh but he has good reason to do so! 10 years prior his son was cleaning his dad’s gun and accidentally shot his mother!
Now, beyond the commonly discussed awful performances, corny “fall break” song and great death scenes (not gonna spoil it though it’s worth the wait!) there is a strange awkward scene. A leading character complains to a cashier that a senior discount is age discrimination while the cashier himself is a black man who was born before Rosa Parks refused to give up a seat on the bus to a white person. Wow. [rating: $6] –Kenyon
The problem with this fantasy-horror-joke is that the ghoulies play no integral part. The underused ghoulies are summoned as minions and do the bidding of their master. Which means they attack and kill under someone else’s will. Further still, the spotlight is stolen from the ghoulies by a midget couple that were summoned as well. Perhaps more on the ghoulies will be explored in Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
Infamous for being amateur yet respectfully daring, this shot-on-video (ie, camcorder, home movie) abnormality has as many gross-outs as it does laughs. Adding to the offbeatness is that the depictions on the VHS slipcase and DVD release have characters and stills not in the movie, ie there is no woman in a beige outfit. In fact, there’s barely anything resembling a farm in Splatter Farm.
Despite its seemingly mild-manner tone set by unlikeable twins who reluctantly visit their depraved aunt, Splatter Farm is a savage, hullucinagetic trip with innovative cheap gore effects. And as cheap as it is, this unique film manages to be shockingly repulsive. Bodies are dismembered, sexual interactions are pushed to the edge, a knife is excremented (i think) and a guy is buried in a shallow grave, nude and possibly still alive. And that’s not even the worst (best?) of it. Believe it or not, there is actually a satisfying surprise twist at the last minute. This is must-see, even if it’s the re-edited DVD version.[rating: $9] –Kenyon
Amateur, camcorder-shot sorta horror-comedy concerning three kids that accidently kill their aunt and dispose of her in the woodchipper. There’s a video on youtube that condenses the whole movie into a few minutes, which is really all that’s necessary. The “acting” is beyond-the-door bad. [rating: $0] –Kenyon
Scalps(1983) Despite the shoddy editing, novice acting and the murky video, Scalps actually has a few things going for it. Mainly it’s the eerie music/score. Somewhere in the California desert, spirits of Native Americans haunt an area that’s targeted by a group of young archeologists. You know they haunt the place because we see a zombie-like Indian face flash sporadically. After the spirit possesses one of them, it’s bye bye archeologye. The possessed starts acting strange, but his friends don’t realize his obvious behavior change before it’s too late. You want to know what happened when his friends didn’t recognize the symptoms? They were SCALPED. [rating: $4]
The Boogens (1981) Mostly mundane in its first hour, the Boogens suffers from several pot holes. Oh my bad, i mean PLOT holes. The “monsters” keep a low profile during that hour, only showing their tentacle grabbing people. When the mutants are finally shown full body (i think), it’s still a mystery as to the what, why, where and how. The “how” being this: how could they have survived in a mine tunnel cave for 80 years. And how about this for a why: Why do they kill one guy in the garage and then bring him down to the cave where he is found floating in the water, while they kill some girl and leave her in the basement. Just left there. Didn’t even bother to eat her. The two lead girls look straight out of most any other early campy 80s horror film, and in fact one of them was in the original Prom Night. At least the Boogens didn’t get REMADE yet! [rating: $4] –Kenyon