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

The Mutilator (1985)

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 Crazies (2010)

After an infected corpse just happens to parachute into a marsh and small town’s water source, the U.S military seizes the population of Ogden, Iowa. Unfortunately for them, the quarantine system fails and everything goes straight to hell.

Impossible timing in the Crazies is a rule. For example, the deputy shoots through a second story window to stop an “infected” from killing his friend without a second more to loose. There is a little melodrama, and a little is too much for this remake of the 1973 film from George Romero. This version should have spent more time on the aspects of the virus itself and less on whether or not the lead female is pregnant. So therefore i cannot comprehend why this got so many positive reviews. On the bright side, the Crazies is convincingly gruesome, like when the hero gets a knife through his hand and while still stuck in hand puts it into an infected’s neck. You know it! [rating:$6]

Demon Witch Child (1975)

(Spain, aka the Possessed) Reading up on Demon Witch Child leads to it being called a rip of the Exorcist. Really, this strange supernatural work only has one thing in common with the Exorcist. This would be the possession of a young girl. Besides that, it’s a completely different trip. First of all, the girl is possessed by a witch…AND a demon (!?). That detail is confusing. The child is not in a bed waiting for the priest to enter. This girl is roaming around normally while making the rudest–and often humorous–comments under the spell of the demon/witch. What she says to the detective searching for a baby killed by a satanic cult deserves applause. And then she chops a guy’s balls off! NOTHING like the Exorcist. Very little time is even spent on an exorcism.

A crude picture quality allows an authentic look for Demon Witch. This could be immediately improved, however, by removing the soundtrack and dismissing or skipping the melodramatic scenes of a priest and his ex-lover. Then it would be eerie as hell. Oh hell, just remake the damn thing. [rating: $6] –Kenyon

The Children (1980)

Despite it being a victim of the dark picture quality felled by many horror films at the time, the Children makes up for it with an original story, oddball dialogue and effective music. If you have seen the early Friday the 13ths enough, you may do a double take for the musical score. Turns out that it was by Harry Manfredini, fresh off the first Friday the 13th that same year. In fact it wouldn’t be a surprise if segments of his score were used for both films. The music works chillingly for this eerie film about robot-zombie-like kids with black finger nails frying the townsfolk and their own parents after their school bus passes through a cloud leaked from a nuclear plant. Awesome concept, though the Children falls just short of being a cornerstone of horror. Too many questions are left unanswered. Why do the children have a desire to kill? How are they able to sizzle people by hugging them? Why is there a nuclear plant nearby? Why aren’t the parents more concerned when their kids are missing? And many more. The conversations also have some explaining to do: “Is Janet home? / Aren’t you a little old for her sheriff? She’s only nine.” Ha! Why would a parent even be THINKING THAT, even if jokingly!? Best part is when they realize how to stop the kids, cause bullets sure as hell don’t work! [rating: $6] –Kenyon

Mosquito (1995)

Quick Cut Mosquito

Campy, fun gore via giant mosquitos. Cast includes Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) who pays homage to himself by picking up a chainsaw. Fun times, unless you have a serious phobia of mosquitos. [rating: $6]  Going by this still from the movie, and judging by the shadows and the speed of the car, that mosquito is roughly five feet across. FIVE FEET! –Kenyon

Monster in the Closet (1986) Horror-comedy from Troma with intentional movie cliches. The monster–which is actually kinda cool–hides in closets, grabs people and throws clothes out of the closet. After even the military can’t stop the monster that soon threatens the entire world, the cameo-filled cast concludes that they must destroy all closets. I guess it was either that or nuke the entire planet from orbit. [rating: $6] –Kenyon

Blood Sucking Freaks (1976)

Blood Sucking Freaks (1976) Misleading title and cover–there is only one freak that does any sucking and it’s only one scene. The original title was actually The Incredible Torture Show, which makes hella more sense. Hella hella hella. BSF is a gorey S&M torture film that overcomes the dreadful acting with dismemberment, nude slave brainwashed girls and a leader of the freakazoids (whose sidekick is a black midget) who periodically enjoys getting submissive just like his slaves. Over the top shock value for its time and effin bizarre to say the least. [rating: $6]Kenyon