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
If there’s anything redeeming about the otherwise ordinary Chernobyl Diaries, it’s that it proves a film about tragic urban exploring doesn’t need to be “found footage” to work. It doesn’t work well, though Chernobyl does provide sporadic suspense and claustrophobia that is pulled off slightly better than found sootage [sic] disasters such as the Tunnel and Grave Encounters. Like those films, the characters knowingly place themselves in a hazardous situation. In Chernobyl, the danger is mostly wild dogs and radiation. Hell, one or the other would have been enough, right? The curious ill-fated group is later confronted by mutant humanoids–likely a result of radiation–who come out of nowhere. And there may have been ghosts in there too. This wasn’t clear with all the other distractions in this inept attempt at R rated horror. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
Humongous (1982) Primitive maniac kills a bunch of people who are stranded on a backwoods island. Comparisions to Friday the 13th part 2 surface, but even in part 2 we saw Jason’s face at the end. Humongous never bothers and even if it did (other then when he was already burnt to a crisp), the gloomy picture quality wouldn’t allow for much. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
Splice (2007) This doctor couple spawn a creature in their lab. It impregnates the woman and then it f*cks the man and kills him. That’s what you get you dumb asses. Stupid f*ckers. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008) At this camp, nearly everyone is mean, insensitive and/or dumb. And i mean BRAINDEAD. For example, a character sees a sharp wooden spear poke through the floor. So what does he do? He keeps looking through the hole until the spear comes back! Let’s just say he won’t be using that eye to look at his porn anymore.
But this is Return to Sleepaway Camp, where character logic is void and everyone hates each other. Really, sitting through all the foul-mouthed yelling and name-calling gets tiring. This especially rings true with mentally damaged Alan, who gets doused with eggs, shot with paintballs and hit with a croquet mallet. Still, he continues to wear the same disgusting shirt throughout the movie. Although Alan is just as much to blame for being an antagonistic asshole, this kid is obviously mentally imbalanced. Yet no one ever attempts to help him psychologically! It’s also puzzling that no one ever questions how odd it is that the “sheriff” always wears sunglasses at night and has a beard yet is petite. Anyone who is familiar with the previous Sleepaways will know what’s up.
Something (likely unintentionally) funny is that whenever there’s a scene with a bunch of kids, they are always conveniently lined up and/or bunched up. This is so you can see them all at once? Sometimes it’s like Southpark, when Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny are at the bus stop all facing forward. Actually, speaking of Southpark, Isaac Hayes is in this meatball mess and plays, naturally, the chef at the camp. His role however is wasted, as he disappears early.
Aside from all the obvious problems, Return To seems to play like a self-aware send-up of the original Sleepaway Camp and other movies of the early 80s slasher heydays. Without a doubt, the best segments are when the “unknown” killer goes through the trouble of setting up clever ways to kill. This includes the spear through a hole and putting hungry rats into a birdcage that is locked onto a guy’s head. [rating: $3]
Vacancy 2: the First Cut (2009) The first Vacancy–which, unlike this typical prequel, actually had a theatrical release–was set at a hotel where three sickos film their own killings of their guests (aka snuff). That first film showed the demise of their business of selling copies of their work. In the prequel, which doesn’t do things much differently from the first film, we are informed of how these entrepeneurs got started. Or at least one of them anyway, as the other two are killed by the lead girl after they kill her boyfriend and his tag along friend. This girl is so tough she implausibly is able to shoot one of these guys from beneath a shallow pond in the dark. The remaining snuffer who gets away, we have to assume, is one of the masked guys in the first film, who somehow survives being set on fire and stabbed in the side of his face. The snuffers didn’t have those trap doors and underground passageways yet (as shown in the original), so a lot is left to desire. Three maniacs can be better than one (like in Mother’s Day or Wrong Turn). In this case, three’s a crowd. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
April Fool’s Day (1986) One of several slasher films from the early 80s that uses a day of the year as a gimmick, April Fool’s Day features an all-star cast of actors who have been seen elsewhere in movies that were more memorable. This includes Thomas Wilson (Biff from Back to the Future), Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl) and Amy Steele (essentially reprising her role as a heroine from Friday the 13th Part 2). Unfortunately, their combined forces aren’t able to help this tongue in cheek horror flick stand out from its peers, even with it’s April Fool’s “twist.” A group of college kids are invited to a secluded home of a mutual friend, who has set up all sorts of tricks, like dribble glasses and chairs with faulty legs. Before you can say “formulaic” the kids start disappearing and heads and body parts are found. It wouldn’t be half-bad if the movie continued on a safe, well-traveled path. Instead, its effort to manipulate the viewer (and two lead characters) disregards important scenes in the movie’s plot development, as if the movie itself doesn’t know which way to go. Once the surprise ending sucks the life out of the party, April Fool’s has more in common with the mystery comedy Clue than an average and more honest vintage slasher. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
Alien Contamination (aka Contamination, 1980) Hundreds of watermelon-size egg-like things have appeared in New York City. The authorities are on it, and they find out that they explode onto people and then two seconds later the victim’s guts explode out in a gory manner, which is fairly impressive for this type of early 80s, lower budget film. The eggs are very important to the people that have a plan for them. And they are so important, these eggs, that men will sacrifice themselves to keep it covered. In one scene some dudes get caught in a warehouse with the eggs, so they shoot the eggs in front of themselves (!) and die instantly. Later, in a flashback, it’s shown that the strange eggs originated from Mars and one of two astronauts took back a “seed” to grow a cyclops. Yes, a cyclops. This sorta comes out of nowhere near the end, but it’s very entertaining. It’s an alien creature, the size of a large tree–and kinda shaped that way–that is in the basement of the facility housing the eggs. It is controlling minds and making its servants harvest the eggs, which apparently have no other purpose than to explode and release toxic substances. Anyway, the other astronaut saves the day, although one of the other hero lead characters is unexpectedly eaten by the cyclops. Wooops! [rating: $3] –Kenyon