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
Far below the rank of Pineapple Express is Half-baked. Well below Half-baked is this sorry excuse for a stoner comedy, Evil Bong 2. More like evil DUNG. Considering the very limited backdrops, the stereotypical job on the blaxpoitation for talking bongs and a juvenile screenplay that could have been consolidated to a 25-minute sitcom, the Z-grade Evil Bong 2: King Bong is a big bunghole. Don’t even bother. [rating: 50 cents] –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
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]
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
Low budget slasher that blatantly rips-off the most basic stories (guy with hockey mask terrorizing people at a camp, sound familiar?). While the potential victims speculate on who is the maniac, Bloody Murder goes into different directions for no reason other than to fill time. Total dud. [rating: $0] –Kenyon
They [aka Invasion from Inner Earth] (1974) The cheapest of cheap effects (smoke bombs), non-existent action and excessive talking from the main characters is what this abomination of film making relies on. Providing little to no sense at all, They makes Plan 9 from Outer Space look like the original Day the Earth Stood Still. For most of the 90 minutes, five people sit around in a secluded cabin, speculating about the chaos in the world supposedly caused by aliens who are never even shown! It’s assumed it is the aliens randomly communicating over ham radio in robotic voices, saying things like, “how many are you”? Adding to the beyond amateur low budget is the method of making people disappear. Mmmbop they are there, mmmbop they’re gone! Why that even happens isn’t explained. As if things weren’t confusing enough, this “movie” has been under at least three different titles with various cover arts that are all misleading. The cover of my copy has only the face of a reptilian-like creature with fangs. [rating: $0] –Kenyon
The Cavern (2005) Ruined by unlikeable characters and a ludicrous ending, the Cavern sets a new low for horror set in the underground. A group of adventurers, whose passion for cave exploration is hardly believable, find a cave that has never been explored. It happens to be a year after their friend DIED in a cave during one of their outings. But that doesn’t stop them from going into a big hole in the middle of nowhere! A creature–which we don’t see much of till the end–has apparently been dwelling in the cave, surviving for years without eating people, until now (just like the Boogens!). When its identity is revealed, the Cavern only digs itself into a deeper hole (ha!). Let’s just say that there’s no way the creature would have the strength to push large boulders like it does. [rating: $1] –Kenyon
Body Shop (aka Doctor Gore) Even though it’s only 75 minutes, the truly terrible Body Shop could easily be edited down to 15. Every scene and every motion drags at a lumbering pace, which doesn’t help when half the plot is unclear. This seems to be the case though–a woman dies and her lover, a mad scientist, reforms her from body parts of other women. That’s where the body shopping and chopping comes in, and admittedly for the early 70s, this is gory stuff. However, even that slicing off of legs, etc, moves super slowly. These operations are assisted by a mute hunchback weirdo whose job is to dispose the unused body parts in acid. After the girl is assembled, she and her creator spend at least 15 minutes in the film getting “acquainted”. Plans for the doctor, however, go sour and before you know it the doctor is in a jail cell while his girl is out roaming the world meeting new people. Something like that. [rating: $1] –Kenyon
Eaten Alive (1977) The follow-up to Tobe Hooper’s influential Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the much lesser known Eaten Alive was inexplicably a large step down. Like Chainsaw, Eaten Alive was loosely based on a true story. Given the lengthy mundane scenes, low budget set and laughable killings, any truth to the story isn’t much respected here. Regarding the scenes that drag, most of it consists of a hotel owner in a swampy area of the southern states mumbling incorherently to himself (similar to Maniac from 1981). This sheds little light on why he kills (or nearly kills) people that come to his hotel and then lets his giant crocodile do the rest. And that’s where a majority of the laughs come in. The croc, which is usually hidden in an abundance of fog and for some reason in water right next to the entrance of the hotel, is utterly hilarious and the star of this sexploitation horror film (highlights include swallowing a dog and chomping on pre-Nightmare on Elm Street star Robert Englund).
Chainsaw, which had good perspective on location, showed a house hidden in the vast rural terrain of Texas. In Eaten Alive–which has gone under numerous other titles–we really have no idea about the location of the very few settings, which include the motel, a whorehouse and bar. We are shown the front and inside of the buildings and that’s all. And never at daytime. If anything it’s more comparable to a play in a theater. Aside from the presumedly unintentional comedy of the croc and its madman owner chasing victims with a scyth (that thing used for cutting cornfields) the only other redeeming aspect is the nearly constant red hues that provide the foggy atmosphere. Fortunately, Hooper was able to follow Alive with such classics as Funhouse and Poltergeist. [rating: $2] -Kenyon
P.S: by chance, both Eaten Alive and the below film, Intruder, have opening credits in front of the moon.