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
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
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]
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
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
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
The Cabin in the Woods (2012) Following months of buzz and high expectations, Cabin mostly succeeds in adding fresh life to horror. Not that it’s entirely horror. While making references to classic backwoods horror films (Evil Dead, et al), Cabin is a horror-thriller COMEDY that embraces witty satire. An evil unicorn sticking its horn where it doesn’t belong? That’s rich. Shoot, maybe it’s supposed to be straightforward comedy.
It turns out the big surprise twist is that among the young adults visiting a remote cabin there is a purposely token stoner who proves he’s the most logical, insightful and smart. Plus, he always has weed on him in the form of a joint or in a bong converted from a travel coffee mug.
Cabin in the Woods shows ambition, for sure. And there’s plenty going on to cause suspense, including a slightly overblown apocalyptic scenario. The effects look great, there are surprises and original ideas that build on old ones.
Still, too many questions remain. Why don’t the people underground who manipulate the cabin take this heavy situation more seriously? Why was “Merman” underused? Where can you get one of those coffee mug bongs? Perhaps answers to this fun pro-marijuana film will be answered in a prequel. [rating: $7] –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]
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