Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dracula at the Bolshoi!





Hello everyone! And welcome back!

Before we get started, a word about vampire movies.



When I was a little girl, the very first horror movie that ever made me desperately want to have an insatiable love for the dead was the 1979 version of Dracula with Frank Langella. On our little black and white television, I watched with eager anticipation as Langella’s version of Dracula seduced every woman within a thousand mile radius of him. It was the first time I’d ever seen a movie where I kind of wanted to be the bad guy’s girlfriend...or be the bad guy, whichever.



That being said, I hold vampire movies to a higher standard than I do most other horror movies. Like, seriously, if you want a jewel from me and you’ve got a vampire movie, you better bring your A game.

I have a whole system to it, of course, but I’m gonna save that for another time because this week’s movie...well...it doesn’t really apply. In fact, I’m not even sure I should be reviewing it on a horror blog. Let’s just get into it.




Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary starring Wei-Qiang Zhang, Tara Birtwhistle, David Moroni, CindyMarie Small, Johnny A. Wright, Stephane Leonard, Matthew Johnson, Keir Knight, Brent Neale, and Stephanie Ballard.


So, if you’ve seen any movie based on the Brom Stoker version of Dracula, then I don’t have to run down the plot for you. If you haven’t, however, I’m seriously gonna need you to stop right here and go watch any version of the story. Consider it a part of your education into horror. I personally recommend either the 1979 or 1992 Francis Ford Coppola versions.

But essentially, this movie basically follows the same story. Dracula(Zhang) seduces young socialite Lucy(Birtwhistle), then her best friend Mina (Small). Renfield(Neale) is a crazy, bug-eating guy with an insatiable love for the dead, and Dr. Helsing(Moroni) and Lucy’s three suitors(Leonard, Johnson, and Knight) all battle Dracula for the poor young women’s souls. No surprises there.

What is a surprise...well...is this:




Yes. This is not so much a movie as it is a ballet. It’s made up like an old silent movie with a soundtrack and all the lines delivered on title cards. And everyone dances.




But I liked the presentation, a lot actually. The xenophobic theme from the original story is played up considerably with the casting of Zhang as Dracula, who, by the way, is positively smoldering. Despite this essentially being a silent film, Zhang and the entire cast emote passion while conveying the story. It was...well, it was really beautiful.




Which is why I don’t think I can give this one a jewel or anything. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I liked it a lot. This is the kind of thing I would love to see live in a theatre. It’s my idea of an Addam’s Family night out… you know, if they were going to the ballet.




But I don’t feel like this was horror enough for me. I mean, sure, it fits the basic definition in that it’s based on a horror story...but…




It was beautiful. It was artfully crafted. It was as gorgeous of a movie as any of the best Brom Stoker Dracula’s have been...but it just didn’t fall into my criteria of horror.


I did like it, though. And if you’re spending Halloween at your grandparent’s house, you can totally put this one and not have to worry about massive bloody scenes or random boobs.

So, okay, next week’s movie we swing into the “E”s with Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal. Sounds like a winner. :)

--O~
     *

Sunday, September 9, 2018

A Fairy Good Movie (See what I did there?)




Ahoy-hoy faithful readers! So, here we are with this week’s new movie and oh, do I have a lovely installment for you.

Before I get into it, let me wax poetic about one of my favorite directors/writers - Guillermo Del Toro, the genius behind today’s movie. Ahem.

I love his movies, muchly. <3





Thank you.




Don’t be Afraid of the Dark starring Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, and Bailee Madison. The story’s pretty straightforward. Sally(Madison) is a little girl with a troubled past moves in with her father (Pearce)and his girlfriend Kim (Holmes) after her mother decides she doesn’t want her anymore. All this occurs right when her father and father’s girlfriend are in the middle of renovating a beautiful old mansion. Everything goes okay until Little Sally stumbles upon fairies in the furnace of a hidden basement.




Now. A few words before we move on. Given that this a horror blog, you’ve probably already guessed that the aforementioned fairies are not sparkly, Tinkerbell-esque, Navi-following-Link-around-a-Deku-Forest fairies. The thing is, if you know anything about the actual folklore, then you know that fairies are not necessarily bright and shiny creatures. In fact, most accounts suggest that should you meet one...or a pack of them...you should endeavor upon not angering them in any way. Under normal circumstances, they are more mischievous than they are anything else, but to piss them off is asking for an entire barrel of kickass to be dumped on your front lawn.




And that’s exactly what happens to little Sally and her dad and girlfriend. The fairies start off pretty cute by playing nice with Sally, but as the story moves forward they get progressively...um...well, aggressive.




Which leads me to the one thing I did not like about this movie. The characters, which sucks to say because I liked literally EVERYTHING ELSE THAT HAPPENS in this movie. Like this totally passed my Guillermo del Toro checklist in all regards.

Beautifully frightening cinematography and sets? Check.

High class, top-tier acting from a very well put together cast? Check.

Fairytale like quality story in a real world setting? Check.

Individually imaginative monster design? Check and Check.


The characters, however...well, let’s be real, okay? They are wholly unlikable. The father appeared to care far more about getting in “Architectural Digest Weekly” or whatever than the mental stability of his daughter. The girlfriend is well-meaning but kind of mealy-mouthed and boring and to top things off, the mother (who they only speak of) really did just give her child away. I would go in on Sally, but...well, she’s just a kid and I suppose if I had parents like hers, I might be stupid enough to release fairies from an old creepy furnace just because they asked me to.




So, anyway, the stories follows the typical kid-loosed-evil-and-adults-don’t-believe-them archetype. No matter what little Sally tells her dad, he just doesn’t buy that she’s not the one causing wanton mischief in their house. The monsters that tried attacking her and ripped up her teddy bear are just nightmares, nothing more and while most parents might remedy the situation by allowing them to the request of sleeping with the lights on, or, maybe, sleeping with them for a night or two, Daddy Dearest does nothing of the sort. He does what busy people who don’t engage their children do, send them straight to the psychiatrist to up their meds. Woo, ritalin!





Okay, so fortunately for little Sally, Daddy’s girlfriend Kim gets with the program early and starts actually looking into Sally’s claims. See, the previous owner of the house was a famous photographer and was said to have disappeared after his son disappeared. She does a little digging and finds out that maybe, just maybe, fairies might be real. And maybe they might have something to do with the disappearance of both the boy and his father.





All right, so, Sally’s father throws a big important party for big important people and Kim, who’s fully engaged with the fact that fairies or no fairies, something really wrong is happening and they need to get Sally out of the house immediately, starts packing little Sally’s bags. In the meantime, she tells Sally to use a polaroid to get pictures of the fairies, plus, as an added bonus, the flash will keep them at bay because, much like gremlins, they don’t like bright light.




So, the party’s happening and little Sally is going around the house snapping pictures of as many fairies as she can. They manage to trap her in one of the rooms and attack her. Fortunately, her father manages to break into the room and save her before they can do her harm.

Okay, so, with her pictures of fairy attacks all over the place and one squashed fairy as proof, dad finally decides that maybe this environment isn’t a good one for a small child. Kim shows him the basement where the fairies are and they decide that they’re going to leave right away. Of course, that means they have to get attacked by fairies on the way out. And then, the next popular Guillermo del Toro trope, that one truly wholesome character in the story has to die.




Check. Sorry, Kim, it was nice knowing you.

And having survived the harrowing adventure, father and daughter leave the house and drive off into the sunset. The furnace is bolted shut forever...or at least until the next family moves in.




Okay, so this was going to get a jewel just by right of being a Guillermo del Toro joint. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything done by him that I’ve out and out hated. What can I say, he makes good movies. Plus, I might add, this is a REMAKE and if I have not mentioned it yet, I have no love for remakes. If you ever hear me saying that I like a remake, it's a damned good remake.




Okay, so next week we are taking a brief detour into Dracula territory with Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary. Another one that I have no idea what to expect, but I have high expectations for Dracula movies and vampire movies in general. I’m gonna grade this one pretty hard so I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

See you next time!

O~
  *

Sunday, September 2, 2018

101 Ways to Murder Santa



Hello, everybody! So, thanks to events out of my control, you might’ve noticed that I’m a little late getting a post out. Never fear, though, I’m still here and I’ve got a new movie to review.

Before we get to the aforementioned review, however, I just need to give props to my fellow coworker at FPL and fellow horror enthusiast, Jeff Milo, for his review of my book Three A.M. Best review I’ve gotten so far! Please, check it out.

So, okay, this week’s movie:






I do love a good Christmas Horror Movie.

Don’t Open Till Christmas starring Edmund Purdom, Alan Lake, Belinda Mayne, Mark Jones, and Gerry Sundquist. The story of this one is pretty simple. Somewhere in England, there’s someone murdering men dressed as Santa Claus. The story begins when Kate (Mayne) and her boyfriend Cliff (Sundquist) are at a party where Kate’s dad is dressed as a Santa Claus to entertain the guests. As he comes out on stage, he’s murdered by a mysterious man in a mask and cloak. The story kind of follows them and Inspector Harris (Purdom) Detective Powell (Jones) while they try to track down the killer.

So, obviously, this one falls into the Slasher Movie category, which means I’ll be measuring this one’s merits by Blood, Boobs, Body Count, and Bad Acting as per usual.



First off – Blood: A

So, there was an admirable amount of blood and murder and gore. I was fairly impressed with the imagination level of the Santa deaths. One Santa gets his face burned on a chestnut stove, a couple gets axes and knives to the face, lots of stabbing and chopping. It was exactly as I expected for a 1984 slasher flick. More on the Santa deaths in a minute.

Boobs: C

There are two boob shots and it’s the same girl, which is a pretty low number for slasher movies of the time. There is, however, a scene where the naked woman in question is narrowly missed being killed because of her hot bod.



Really. That’s it. Because of her hot bod. He looks at her body, acts like he’s gonna kill her, runs away.



Body Count: A+

Like I said; Very imaginative Santa deaths. All told, there were seventeen deaths altogether with ten Santas biting the dust. The Santa deaths break down to five stabbings, one impalement, one death by explosion, one shot in the mouth, one castration, and one death by a machete to the face.



Bad Acting: A++++

The acting was positively exquisite in its awfulness. Wooden movements, flat responses, the villain mugging for the camera as he leers over his victim. It was so glorious. For instance, the aforementioned naked woman makes this face for a solid five minutes while she's not being killed:




So, all in all, this one gets the jewel. It’s just good Saturday Afternoon Thriller Double Feature kind of fun. Blood, gore, corny acting. This one’s a winner all the way around.



Next week’s movie is…?

I don’t know. I didn’t have a chance to grab the next movie. So I guess it will be a surprise for us all!



O~
*

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Collecting Collectors for the Collection





Hidey-ho, dear readers. As you might’ve noticed, I didn’t post last week. Sorry! I wasn’t feeling too hot. I was going to try another double feature, but I really didn’t have time this weekend. So, you’re just going to have to settle for one movie this week.

Okay, so as I mentioned last week, I accidentally missed a movie while going through the C’s, but I maintain that that mistake was not my fault. How you ask? Well…

This week’s movie, 2009’s The Collector starring Josh Stewart, Juan Fernandez, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Karley Scott Collins, Madeline Zima, Daniella Alonzo, Haley Pullos, William Prael, and Diane Ayala Goldner. First, let’s address the cover.



Pretty intimidating, right? Here’s a fun fact that I didn’t know until I was well into the D’s. So, this cover is for The CollectOR.



And this cover is for the movie The CollectION. The sequel to the CollectOR. Having no foreknowledge about either movie, I, of course, saw them out of order. Fortunately, the CollectION works really well as a stand-alone, so if you have made this mistake, you probably didn’t know until right this second that two movies even existed. You may’ve seen both covers and just thought “Meh, must be a remastered version” or “This must be the one from Italy”, ‘cuz, you know, filmmakers do things like that sometimes.



So, now you know. CollectOR and CollectION, two different movies. And if there is a third, you probably expect the same cover a third time. It will probably be named The CollectORATIONARY. Moving on.



The Collector begins with a couple(Prael and Goldner) coming from what we presume is date night. Like a couple of giggly, horny teenagers, they come in with all the preparation of what I imagine is a night of hot passionate sex or something. They discover the power is out and find a mysterious trunk in one of their rooms. When it moves, the wife (having the lion’s share of the brains between them) tells him not to go near it. He does anyway. Not only that, he opens it and Bam! They’re both attacked by some unseen assailant.



Meanwhile, a dude named Arkin (Stewart) is working as a handyman for the very rich and very spoiled Chase family. While working, he notices that they are very rich and very spoiled, except for their youngest daughter Hannah (Collins), who just wants somebody to play tea party with her. (awwww)




So, fun fact about Arkin. He’s an ex-con. What’s worse, is that he’s an ex-con with a wife who’s in debt to a loan shark. His wife (Alonzo) tells him that she had to pay bills because he’s not doing it and she’s desperate. She tells him that she needs the money by midnight so she’s going to take their daughter and skip town. Arkin tells her that she doesn’t have to do that because He just worked on a house for some rich people and he can just rob them, then he’ll have the money and everything will be fine. Sounds like a plan.



So, Arkin sets about robbing the Chase’s house. The breaks in and finds their chest and starts to unlock it. While he’s doing that, he notices that someone else has broken into the house too…and he’s got a mask…and he’s nailed all the windows and doors shut…and he’s booby-trapped the house…he’s holding Mr. and Mrs. Chase hostage and apparently torturing them.

Arkin tries to call 911, but the phones are rigged. He goes to the basement and finds Mr. Chase(Burke), who’s definitely seen better days.

So, Mr. Chase tells Arkin that the masked man has trapped and tortured both him and his wife. His older daughter Jill(Zima) is out, but Hannah is hiding somewhere in the house. He tells him that there is a gun in the safe and gives him the combination. Arkin decides to find Mrs. Chase, who’s blindfolded and chained to the bathtub. He convinces her to scream so that he can go back upstairs to the safe while the masked man is down in the basement with them. She does and it works. Masked man comes down to the basement and Arkin goes upstairs to the safe.

In the safe, he finds the gun, but there are no bullets. He also finds a giant ruby and pockets it. He searches the house for Hannah, only to find a big trunk in one of the rooms. He opens it to find the husband of the very first couple in the first scene…all bloodied and jacked up. This guy tells Arkin that the masked man is a…wait for it…Collector who collects people for his collection. The masked man only collections one person from the house then kills everyone else.




Meanwhile, The Collector is busy torturing Mr. and Mrs. Chase. He even almost cuts off Mrs. Chase’s tongue for screaming. Arkin eventually finds his way back down to the basement only to find Mr. Chase dead. He frees Mrs. Chase, but after she sees her husband is dead, she tries to make a break for it. Unfortunately, she’s caught and stabbed by The Collector.


Okay, so, meanwhile Jill has come home from her date with her boyfriend. They go in the house and start making out and get ready to pound one out on the kitchen table, when they notice The Collector is creeping up on them. Jill screams, The Collector brutally murders her boyfriend…



…and Jill is captured, but not before calling 911 on her cellphone. Arkin sees all this and uses an alarm clock in one of the bedrooms to distract The Collector while he frees Jill. Jill, having just come in on all this, thinks Arkin has something to do with what’s going on. She runs from him and tries to grab scissors as a weapon, but gets caught in one of The Collector’s traps and dies.



At this point, Arkin is screw all this and he manages to tear the razor sharp boards from one of the windows and gets out of the house. As he’s running away he sees poor, little, innocent Hannah in one of the windows and decides to go back to the house.

You read that right. He GOES BACK TO THE FRIGGIN HOUSE.

So, back to the house, Arkin goes, where he does end up finding Hannah. The two of them try to rig a trap for The Collector, using an aquarium and a television in the hopes of electrocuting him. It doesn’t work. The Collector uses the one guy he had trapped in the trunk as a decoy and the trap ends up killing him instead. Arkin and Hannah escape by using the laundry chute in one of the rooms that leads down to the basement. Arkin gets Hannah down, but The Collector knocks Arkin out and takes him captive.



Arkin is now in a cage and being tortured by The Collector, things are looking pretty bleak. But then, the cops show up…well, a cop. Unfortunately, The Collector has a big scary dog and the doc eats the cop. BUT, not before the cop calls for backup.

Oh-kay, so that gives Arkin time to free himself. He goes to the basement where he finds dead Victoria rigged with explosives. So, he and Hannah manage to escape just as The Collector’s dog comes after them. They kill the dog, trap The Collector and escape the house just as it explodes. Yay!

So, the cops and the ambulance are there and they take little Hannah away to safety. Arkin’s being driven away in an ambulance, cuz, you know, he was tortured and all that. While on the gurney, he reaches into his pocket and discovers the ruby he stole. He tells the EMS guy that he needs to call his wife ASAP. Before they can do anything, however, the ambulance goes off the road and crashes.

Disheveled and injured, Arkin looks up to see The Collector has crashed the ambulance. He pulls him out of the ambulance and puts him in a trunk.




The end.

At least until the sequel.

So, what do I give this movie? First of all, let me just say that as a rule, I’m not a fan of torture porn. With Saw being the only exception, most torture porn amounts to two hours of this:



I’m looking at you Eli Roth.

That being said, for torture porn, The Collector wasn’t really that bad. I mean, it was still basically gore for gore’s sake, but there was a halfway decent storyline…even though the characters were all pretty much too stupid to live through to the end, I didn’t hate this movie.

I’m gonna give this one a Pink Diamond, because it’s not my speed, but, I can’t say I hated it. 



All righty, next week’s movie is Dead Snow: Dead vs Red, the sequel to Dead Snow. The tag for it is that it’s a “zom-com” which, I didn’t even know was a phrase to be honest.

Until next week.

O~
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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Demon Double Feature




Hey, there, dear readers, it’s that time again! And this time, I’ve got a double feature for you! We are keeping it rolling with the Demonathon! So, let’s do this.




Don’t Kill It

When I was a little girl, I used to walk up to the video store during the summer and pick out the dollar rentals, which were mostly bad movies from the eighties. Now, out of those wonderful movies, I found some gems, like The Evil Dead Series and Night of the Comet. But I loved the bad movies just a little more than the good ones sometimes because when a horror movie is bad, it’s really over the top bad.

And, yoooooo, this movie was so bad. I mean, gloriously, bad. Like not quite Room, bad, but like eighties level, Gene-Simmons-in-drag-in-a-movie-with-Vanity-and-Jesse-from-Full-House kind of bad.





I loved it, so much.

So.

Don’t Kill it starring Kristina Klebe, Tony Bentley, James Chalke, and Dolph Lundgren as the town Demon Hunter with an accent that I think is supposed to be southern, but sounds more like a Swedish Elvis. It was weird.



Okay, so the movie opens with a hunter whose dog as found a strange looking Faberge Egg looking container. When the hunter finds the container and the dog, the dog attacks him and he’s forced to shoot the dog. Shortly thereafter, he goes home and shoots and kills his family. Then goes to the neighbor’s house and starts to kill people there, but he’s stopped when the man of the house shoots him. From there, THAT man shoots his daughter the remaining survivor.



Enter Jebediah Woodley(Lundgren), a grizzled old Demon Hunter who just blew into town to hunt him some demons. After taking in some of the local color, he makes his way to the police station where FBI Agent Evelyn Pierce(Klebe) has just come back to her hometown to investigate the murders of a bunch of unrelated people.



As she’s talking to the local sheriff in the little town, Chief Dunham (Bentley), Woodley bursts in. Dunham promptly tells him to leave and has a couple of officers escort him out, but Agent Pierce wants to hear what he has to say soooo, he does what anyone would do. Tell them he’s a demon hunter and they’re dealing with a demon.



As he’s been dragged away by the most inept of police officers, he starts a 30-second monologue, I guess, in an effort for her to help him. It just ends up looking like an interpretive dance performance art thing. Needless to say, they throw his crazy behind in jail.

Agent Pierce goes to talk to him in the jail to find out what he knows. She pretty much thinks he’s a crazy person and dismisses him, but not before he tells her to ask the survivors about the killer’s eyes. She goes and talks to the survivor of the last family to be murdered and she tells her that the father from the second house burst into their house and started shooting people. Her husband kills the second guy, then kills his son and tries to kill her and his eyes were so blaaaaccckkk.

This leads Agent Pierce to talk to Woodley with the Chief. They sit down in a diner Woodley tells them that the demon doing this likes to jump from person to person after the person has been killed, but not before going through a montage of different types a demon.



I know, you think I used that word – monologue -- incorrectly. I didn’t. There’s a literal montage of supposed demon encounters as he talks.

In addition to the montage, he also tells them – in the form of a flashback – of the last time he dealt with this particular type of demon, he was a kid. His father caught the demon, then killed it, but not before poisoning himself so that the demon had nowhere to go. Then he put him in a bottle.

Hmm…that sounds kind of familiar. Where have I seen that particular plot device?



*cough* 1998 *cough**cough* Fallen*cough*

So, they decide to track the last guy that they knew was killing people. Apparently, the last guy (the one that tried to kill his wife) was shot by a couple of rednecks. They ambush the one that took credit for it and very quickly find out that not only was the actual guy who did the shooting not him but that he’s really drunk.

All right, so, moving on. They find the guy in the woods, guy attacks Agent Pierce. He pins her to the ground and gets all googly eyed with her…


And she gets all googly eyed with him...



Just as Woodley appears to save her, the guy shoots him and runs off into the night. The two of them stand there like: “Gee, that sucked. Better just find a hotel rather than follow the guy. I mean, it’s not like he’s going to kill someone else.”

So, they do. Woodley digs out the bullet in his arm with Pierce’s help and despite the fact that she didn’t like Woodley at all a scene ago, they get all cozy and flirty. Pierce turns off the heat, because, you know, she’s not that kind of girl and asks him to turn around as she gets undressed for bed. He does and sees that she has suspicious looking marks on her back. Woodley freaks out…as much as a grizzled old demon hunter can freak out and promptly leaves.



He goes to a payphone and calls…some guy and asks him to check her family tree. Now, who the guy is, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I zoned out somewhere in there for that point of reference. Aaaaannyway, he looks up to see Agent Pierce wandering around outside. He goes to her and she asks what’s going on. He tells her that she has the birthmark of a divine being and that whatever she does, she cannot kill the demon because…something something portal to another dimension, etc, etc.




Okay, so, they decide to go back to town and have a town hall meeting, which, Oh, my word is so wonderfully terrible. It kind of goes like this:

Chief Dunham: So…those murders around town? Well, we got demons, people.

Town: Whaaaaattt??? You’re full of it! We’re going to kill you!

Chief Dunham: Wait! I mean, Wait--!

(Jebediah Woodley steps in)

Jebediah Woodley: Everybody calm down. What he meant to say is that there is one demon killing a bunch of people. You’re all pretty much screwed.

Town: What in the actual hell! Get the torches and pitchforks!


I’m pretty sure that’s actually from the script.

So, while people are getting increasingly upset by the idea that demons are coming to kill them…a demon comes in and starts to kill them. In fact, it’s the same guy that they let run off into the night only three scenes ago.



The next few minutes is just a display of demonic musical chairs as the demon kills a few people, is killed, then that person kills a few more people, then someone kills the demon…so on and so on.

The carnage spills out into the streets and they lose whoever the last killer was. Meanwhile, the demon, now walking around in the bodies of one of the townspeople goes to a house where two little girls have been left alone (because, you know, town meeting and all). You can probably guess what happens next.




Yeah, one of the little girls shoots the killer and thusly, is now the demon.

Meanwhile, Agent Pierce and Jebediah Woodley get a call that some guy’s daughter has gone crazy. They rush right over and quickly find out that the little girl is a demon and locked in the basement. Jebediah tells the father, “Well, there’s only one thing to do. Poison yourself, shoot the girl, and I’ll capture it.” He agrees to do it.

Well, not quite just like that, but pretty close. Woodley makes him a poisoned drink, gets him ready to go kill his daughter. Just before he goes to do it, the FBI busts in and stops him. The poison kicks in and dad dies. FBI agents arrest Woodley and say: “We’ll handle this now."



Guess what happens next?



Yeah, they don’t handle it. The demon, now in the body of a child starts murdering FBI agents left and right. Agent Pierce hijacks a police car and she and Woodley drive away with an agent who came stumbling out of the house as a hostage.

K. Are you keeping up so far? No? It’s okay. It’s almost over.

So, they get to the woods and try to get the FBI agent to tell them who was the last person to kill the little girl. The agent tells them but says that he’s wounded. A few seconds later, the guy shows up aaaannd the FBI agent shoots him. And now, he’s the demon.



So.

So.

Woodley snags him with his handy net gun and hangs him from a tree. He, then, turns to Agent Pierce and says; “I’m gonna poison myself and then kill the guy. It’s the only way.”



Then he kisses her dramatically and this looks like the end. But then, the local preacher and his parish show up and say; “Free this man!”



They have guns so Woodley is forced to free the demon who promptly starts killing people. Agent Pierce has no choice but to shoot the demon. The demon takes over her body and then she starts floating and the winds pick up and the storms come and it looks like the end of the world. But then, she explodes and all is right with the world.



The End.

No, really. She just explodes all over the place leaving Woodley to capture the demon soul and throw it in the ocean to be found again one day.

Yup.

There are so many things happening in this movie, Jebediah smokes from a giant vape thing, monologues at the drop of a hat while Agent Pierce has the continuous look of someone who can’t understand how she’s in this movie in the first place.

Moving on.



The next movie is Dagon starring Ezra Gooden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Merono, Macarena Gomez, Brigit Bofarull, and Brendan Price.

So, this movie is based on the H.P. Lovecraft novella “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” and, fun fact had been in various stages of production for about fifteen years. For what it’s worth, it’s a pretty good film.

The story starts with nerdy businessman Paul(Gooden) who’s on vacation with his hot Spanish girlfriend, Barbara(Merono), are on a boat with their rich friends Howard (Price) and Vicki (Bofarull)when they get into an argument because he works too much. And then, a storm rolls in. The storm tosses them into a large rock and Vicki becomes trapped. Barbara and Paul take a boat to the town by the shore.



They don’t find anyone there at first but are drawn to the sound of singing from a church somewhere in town. The enter the church, only to find it’s empty except for one priest. Barbara tells him that they need help because the storm shipwrecked them off the coast. He follows them out to the docks to show him and he tells them that it will be impossible to reach them because of the storm.



I’m gonna take a bit of a pause here to note that much of this part – as well as several parts of this movie -- is entirely in Spanish. I didn’t have too much trouble because I happen to speak a bit of it, but not to worry. It’s pretty easy to discern what everybody’s talking about without a translation. You’ll pretty much get the picture.

Anyway, the priest says there are no police in town and someone will have to stay behind to get help. Barbara volunteers and Paul agrees to take a boat back with some local fishermen.



The priest tells Barbara to go to the local hotel to call the police. She does and asks the guy at the desk if she can call the police. He gives her the blank stare.



She gets frustrated when he doesn’t respond and goes to reach for the phone. It’s at that point, she’s attacked by the man and the priest and presumably kidnapped.

Paul, in the meantime, has reached the boat only to find his friends are gone. When he comes back to shore, he finds that Barbara is gone too. The priest tells him to go to the hotel and wait for her. He does. In the hotel, he finds his room is filthy, but he finds a way to try to get some sleep. In the middle of the night, he thinks he sees Barbara, only to find it’s a mystery woman that he’s been dreaming about his whole life.



He wakes up and the looks out of the window to find that there are people in towns meandering in the streets. When they see him, they decide that he needs to die. He spends the next bunch of minutes running from mobs of zombie people until he runs into an old man named Ezequiel (Rabal) who tells him why everybody’s all deformed and crazy.



See, the story goes that a local sailor comes into town and convinces the townspeople that they need to stop worshiping God and start worshipping the god Dagon instead. If they do this, they will get lots of gold and fish. They do it and get lots of food and fish. The payment, as it turns out, is that everyone is slowly turned into sea creatures…with tentacles and such.

OoOOoooh-kay. Ezequiel agrees to help our hero to escape. They make it to a big house where there is a car out front. Ezequiel distracts the people and while Paul tries to hotwire the car. He fails because does who said he knew how to hotwire a car in the first place?

He runs into the house and hides in a room where he finds the woman from his dreams sleeping. She awakes and tells him that they belong together because, you know, he’s been dreaming of her. He makes out with her and in the process pulls the covers back to find that she’s half octopus.



There’s a tentacle sex joke in there somewhere, but I’ll move on.



So, he escapes and gets to the car he tried to hotwire, only to find it works now. He drives the car through hordes of the villagers, only to crash the car. He’s, then, captured and thrown in a barn where he finds Barbara, Vicki, and Ezequiel. Vicki is all messed up. Her legs are jacked up and she says that Dagon is now inside her. When Paul asked for an explanation, Ezequiel tells him that Dagon had sex with her.



So, when they come for them Paul jumps them and makes his way out. Surrounded by angry villagers, he and Ezequiel fight some of them off before they are completely surrounded, and all appears to be lost. Vicki kills herself out of desperation and the remaining three of them are dragged away.

Paul and Ezequiel find themselves locked in a torture chamber. The Priest and his minions then focus on Ezequiel and…well…peel his face off.



I believe the technical term for it is flaying, but that’s basically what happens. They’re just about to start in on Paul when Uxia (Gomez), Paul’s dream girl wheels in and tells them they’re not allowed to kill him. She makes them go away so she can talk to him alone. Once alone, Uxia tells Paul that his life was spared because they were meant to be together.



Paul, who doesn’t really have the program yet, tells her to free his girl Barbara and he’ll be whatever she wants him to be. She tells him “Yeah, no. We need a sacrifice for Dagon and she’s gotta be it. Sorry!”

She leaves and the men return and free him. Paul promptly goes Rambo on them and kills them all. Then he leaves in search of Barbara.


Barbara, by the way, is in the middle of the whole sacrifice ritual. She gets chained up and hung over a big pit where the giant tentacle monster waits for her (insert tentacle porn joke here). Just as she’s being lowered into the pit, Paul appears and pours gasoline on everyone and sets them on fire. As pandemonium ensues, he pulls Barbara up from the pit, but it’s too late. Dagon the tentacle monster reaches up and…well…



Yeah, poor Barbara.

So, Uxia crawls over to him and tells him that things don’t have to be this way and all. Her father appears and Uxia is all “Dad, you remember Pablo…right?”



Uxia’s dad is like; “Son!” and Paul is like: “What?” and Uxia’s dad is like:



So, Paul does the reasonable thing. He douses himself with gasoline and sets himself on fire. Uxia, distraught, grabs him and they fall into the pit and into the ocean…where she wakes him up and the two of them swim into the abyss forever.



Kind of a warm and fuzzy ending…kind of.

So, what do I give both these movies? Clearly, they’re both getting jewels. Don’t Kill It, just because its awfulness actually surpassed into greatness and that is a feat worth rewarding and Dagon just because it’s a pretty good horror movie.



Also! I have to give a shout out to a newer movie that’s not listed as a horror movie, but you guys need to check out. Annihilation starring Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. I’m not gonna review it because they say it’s technically not horror, but if you love horror like I love horror, then you’re gonna want to check this one out.



Okay, so, anyway, taking a break from the Demonathon next week with The Collector. Funny story. I thought I saw this movie, but as it turns out, I saw the sequel. The covers and titles are really similar and…well, I’ll go into it next week.

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