The Collector (2009)

The torture is grisly and the story provides reasonable suspense, but the Collector is so short on the motives of, well, the collector. A man who is desperate to save his wife and daughter burglarizes a secluded home, only to find a sadistic masked madman already there. This “collector” somehow in a matter of hours set up dozens of precise trip wires and traps. Meanwhile he is already in the process of multi-tasking the torture of his victims, one of which will be kept in a box because it’s for the “collection” or something. Slightly confusing and not very believable. [rating: $4] –Kenyon
similar: Saw, Hostel, the Strangers

Squirm (1976)

Worrrrrrrmmss! And they chomp on human flesh! An electrical live wire in a rural area of Georgia is making contact with the wet soil and therefore the worms, which creates super charged worms. Just barely tolerable, though for mid 70s nature horror schlock it’s relatively okay. [rating: $4] –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

Live Animals (2008)

Live Animals (2008) The cover for this indie has a review byte that boasts “fans of Saw and Hostel will cheer”. Well, first it’s nothing at all like Saw. Second, it’s not exactly like Hostel either. At best it’s more like a mix of Turistas and Human Centipede but not as suspenseful or brutal. Not that Live Animals doesn’t show blood. In fact, the victims are abucted by lunatics relatively early and before long a tongue is cut off. It was the guy’s own fault though for not shutting up. The short lead-in to the crisis situation allows little time to get to know the characters, but they seem pretty boring. Their new “owner”–an older, regular looking guy assisted by a husky sidekick–wants to mentally break them like horses so he can sell them like slaves. The surviving college-age kids are able to escape the chains before making a huge, brainless mistake which culminates into otherwise easily avoidable deaths. It all would have been more believable if the mediocre Live Animals didn’t suffer from sloppy editing in a few scenes and the inexplicably deleted–and humorous!–scene that would have answered how the villian makes an escape. [rating: $4] –Kenyon