Tourist Trap (1979) Review

The iconic Chuck Connors stars as an isolated lunatic in the somewhat surreal Tourist Trap, in which a group of young friends are terrorized by his telekinetic ability to animate mannequins and other found objects. While the mannequins receive a little too much attention when they come to life and continuously pile on to victims, their movements and voice controls are completely eerie. Though some scenes are rather goofy and Connors’ character has the uncanny power to appear wherever his victims might end up, Tourist Trap still stands as a worthwhile curiosity. [Rating: $6] -Kenyon

Similar: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Magic, Puppet Master

Hatchet II (2010)

Hatchet II

A survivor of the first Hatchet has the urge to immediately return to the New Orleans swamp-forest–where maniac semi-spirit Victor Crowley dwells–to retrieve remains of her relatives that were slayed by Crowley. Meanwhile a shady business man (you know him as Candyman) and his crew join the search with ulterior motives in Hatchet II.

This is a rare time when the quotes on the cover are on point. Hatchet II takes gore to an outrageous level. The victims are decapitated, impaled or literally torn apart in all kinds of interesting ways. A sensitive backstory about Crowley connects to the first film, which was an overly aware horror-comedy. Amazingly, the follow-up liberates itself from the nonsense of Hatchet and establishes a meaningful presence within modern day slasher horror. [rating: $9] –Kenyon

Hatchet (2006)

hatchet-poster
Somewhat self-aware though terribly goofy, Hatchet is set in the swamps near New Orleans, where a “ragtag” tourist group falls victim to Victor Crowley, a disfigured maniac that is easy to pity. Lots of cliche horror movie jokes and pedestrian script. However the tearing apart of limbs is to die for in this splatter fest. Pretty much every chance he gets, Crowley rips off arms and legs or decapitates bodies. The first half of Hatchet is inconsequential, unless you need to see the cameos. But when that first tourist is butchered, look out. [rating: $5] –Kenyon


similar: Wrong Turn 2, Night of the Demon

Lunch Meat (1987)

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

Lunch Meat 1987 VHS Review

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009) Review

wrong turn 3

A disappointing follow-up to the grisly entertainment of Wrong Turn 2, this cheap piece of junk is one of the worst in the backwoods mutant category. It may have helped just a little bit if there were more mutants than just “three-finger” and his offspring “three-toe,” who is decapitated too soon. Flawed beyond belief, Wrong Turn 3 does whatever it can to fail. The logic of characters and the sad CGI make this an embarrassment. Especially when the CGI is used to split a guy into thirds. Sharknado could fly circles around this garbage. [rating: $1] – Kenyon

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Unlike Last House on the Left, Cannibal Holocaust and several other early infamous shock films of its kind, I Spit has the smart sense to leave out the hokey, contradictory music and allow a challenging film to resonate effectively. This means that the precise revenge murders, each unique and somewhat elaborate, are much more powerful. Aside from the bloody mayhem, there is a great, simplified suspense scene where an uncivilized redneck is deciding whether or not to pick up a bag of groceries he’s asked to deliver to a woman he helped gang rape and leave for dead. But the victim is a strong woman and no one is going to stop her from writing her book as well as patiently slaying the depraved goons. We have a winner. [rating: $9] –Kenyon

Night of the Demon (1980)

One of the “video nasties” banned in the U.K, Night of the Demon‘s originality and surrealism makes up for the comical, deadpan acting and inconsistent behavior of the “demon.” Demon is actually a misleading word here though. By definition it is indeed “destructive,” though in the film it’s more of a “bigfoot.” Once the creature is fully shown, you really won’t know WHAT it is.

Searching for answers is a professor and students from an anthropology class. Apparently they have no fear of sleeping in the backwoods at night, minutes after the professor tells stories of how the creature uniquely and savagely attacked random victims in the vicinity. This includes the detachment of a penis and the slicing up a couple of girl scouts, shown in flashbacks that are themselves within a flashback.

Before the beast really goes to town on the inquisitive group, it for some reason only badly scratches a guy’s back while he’s trying to get with his girl. No, this creature wants to wait till later when it breaks through the door of a house in which the remaining victims hide.

The surrealism, caused by oozing/squirting blood, goofy music and eerie sound, lands somewhere between Don’t Go in the Woods from the same year and 1970s Italian horror from Dario Argento.

While there are all sorts of reasons to be amused by this strange trip, some of it is actually disturbing. After a girl is raped by the bigfoot, she gives birth to a mutant baby. The anthropologists speculate that the creature was trying to keep his population above a count of one, as opposed to just being horny. [rating: $10]

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007) While the original Wrong Turn was a routine backwoods slasher, Dead End–featuring outspoken rock icon Henry Rollins–is actual a step up. And by a step up, i mean buckets of guts. And by guts i mainly mean intestines. Although it’s not for the squemish, Dead End IS a lot of fun, especially since several of the characters butchered by inbred cannibals are a$$holes. Turn 2 also improves the story by showing more about the inbred’s “personal” life and how they got that way. It’s actually rather sad, allowing sympathy for the freaks rather than for the stereotypical victims who are parodied by a survival reality show. Surprisingly, this is a satisfying sequel. It’s no Evil Dead 2 by any means, though it’s a few notches above The Hills Have Eyes 2 remake. [rating: $7] –Kenyon