Monday, March 7, 2011

Silent Night, Bloody Night

Silent Night Bloody Night is a slow paced horror flick from 1974 that has some good things to offer the viewer. While the pacing is slow, the visuals and backgrounds are used in a very creative way by the director. Everything in the film feels like an old school Gothic classic.

The owner of the house house has hired a lawyer to oversee selling his home that not only used to be the home to his father and mother, but was later turned into a mental institution. The father allegedly died in a horrible accident when he was burned to death.

There are not many scenes where there is a lot of blood and gore. However, there is one scene when the lawyer and his girlfriend are murdered with an ax while in bed together. The scene shows plenty of blood and the camera shots chosen along with some fast paced editing and scary music, really make the double murder look real. The person doing the murdering has taken up residence in the home. nobody knows why he is there or what he wants to do with the home. We just know that the people that visit and stay at the house, do not make it out alive.

The movie has some nice plot twist, however there are too many scenes where the outcomes are predictable. A better explanation could have been given for who the murderer was. Oh we find out who it is, but how did survive the fire and why did he murder all of these people?

Still, Silent Night, Bloody Night is a fun film that is well directed. The actors do a very good job of carry the story and making the film believable.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Bury the Living

People are dropping dead everywhere! Individuals that own cemetery plots are dying to get in. A man who has is elected to the board of directors (Played by Richard Boone) for a cemetery believes he has the power to take people’s lives by placing a black pin in selected plots on a map that outlines the cemetery land. Plots that are owned by living individuals are marked with a white pin. However when the cemetery board member replaces the white pin with a black pin, that person mysteriously dies within twenty four hours.

A young; married couple arrive at the cemetery to say hello to the board member who happens to be a friend of the family. They had just purchased two plots for themselves. With the plots sold, the board member changes out the pins from white to black. Within a day or so, the couple die unexpectedly. Before the board of directors make a move to do something about the deaths, several people die from the same result, a black pin and an unexplained death.

Finally, the board takes a huge chance and decide that a black pin should be placed on each of the markers on the map that represent each of their gravesites. As expected, each on dies within the next twenty four hours.

The movie is filmed in black and white which always makes movies of this type better. The director makes good use of lighting to create a mind bending experience that leaves the viewer thinking the cemetery board member is on the verge of losing his mind from the guilt he has from all of the deaths. Or is he guilty? There are a few times during the course of the movie I was convenced he was doing the killings on purpose and that he would eventually kill himself from losing his mind.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Land of the Minotaur

It’s getting late, and a group of Satan worshipers are bringing two young teenagers before an alter of a hideous looking beast. They are tied up, and a young girl walks up to the alter and stabs them to death. A preacher is well aware of the horrible things going on in the cult. However, he cannot convince the police of what is happening. So he must set out to stop the madness before anyone else dies.

Three vacationers are on their way to the mountain to do some archeological digging. Our hero the pastor must stop them before it’s too late. During their search, two of the three adults find the “double axe” symbol on a cement block that is blocking the entrance to an underground tunnel. The two men find the dead bodies of the couple that were sacrificed. Now the men along with their female companion are in danger of being the next sacrifice.

The preacher hires a private investigator to help in the search for the three missing archeologist. The prime suspect is the Barron. The Barron is played by the legend Peter Cushing. Peter does a great job in this film, despite being limited by a script that is predictable. The movie has the pacing and drama of a Sunday night detective show on network television. The film is not a horror film but is a suspense thriller.

The movie has an explosive ending. and is entertaining and worth finding on one of the many Mills Creek Entertainment sets.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon

If Alice in Wonderland meshed with a large outdoor mental institution, the result would be this intriguing story pinned by Edgar Allen Poe about a reporter who pays a visit to a mental institution to do a story, only to find out the inmates are living out their uncrontrolled thoughts and fantasies while the doctor in charge finds the whole thing amusing and does not treat them. The story is told first person by the reporter. His father was accused of murder and put away in a mental institution and the son was discouraged from visiting.

Taking a horse and buggy across the rough roads in a wooded area, the reporter, a friend and his friends cousin are on there way to the grounds where a dark and eirie castle is the home to many who have mental problems. The good doctor is more than happy to take our friend on a tour of the facility. What is found is the oddest group of people one could have come across. Our hero the reporter discovers that innocent people are also forced by the inmates to take part in savage rituals led by the inmates.

Despite featuring a mostly Mexican cast and crew, the film was filmed in english and then redubbed in Mexican. The movie was also released under the name "Mansion of Madness" but the orginal release was called Dr. Tarrs Tourture Dungen.

The story moves at a steady pace and the director does a nice job of keeping the subjects intersting with creative camera angles. Lighting is not an issue with this film as most of it is shot outside during the day. The story is very disturbing and does nothing but portray people with mental disabilities as members of society who are freaks and should be locked away from the rest of cilvilization. Despite the disturbing images and freakish display of mental problems, the movie is inticing and good.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Devil Times Five

A VW bus us transporting a small group of children from a mental institution crashes on an icy road killing the driver. A few of the kids survive. The start wonder thru the snow covered woods for a few hours until they find there way to a vacation resort that is closed for the season. However, a mob boss and his group are staying at the resort. They take the children in to use them for protection. What the mob does nor know is that the kids are from the institution and have homicidal tendencies.

The first victim is a caretaker who survived the crash but was slow to catch up to the kids. The children hid in the dark and attack him as he entered the house. They beat him with a hammer, chain and a other blunt objects. The scene is shown in slow motion and strobes to enhance the violence.

The children in the movie have great personalities which ads depth to their characters. One kid dresses up and carries himself like a Navy Seal, a second is well dressed in a coat and dress pants while a third acts as a mother figure to the others and dresses and prays like a nun. They play their roles well which ads to the story and does not make this another scare movie with no life blood running thru it. Instead it's a fun film with plenty of blood shed and a plot that made me root for the kids even though they were the bad guys in this fun little flick.

Far from a slasher film, Devil Times Five takes it's good old sweet time and builds each bloody scene up slowly and each scene is more gruesome then the previous making for a good build up to the finish. The best scene in the movie is where a woman is in the bath tub and the girl who dresses as a nun pushes the woman's head under water while a younger gal pours a bucket of piranha into the bath water. As the woman struggles in a tub full of bloody water, the girls look on, one cuddling her teddy bear and laughing.

If you have not watched this film, get it. It's available on the second "Chiller" collection from Mills Creek Entertainment and is worth the price of the set.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blood Mania

Ok, see if you can follow this. A married doctor who performed illegal abortions while he was a student in med school is blackmailed for fifty thousand dollars by the man who introduced him to the women who wanted the abortions. The doctor is taking care of a patient who happens to be his own boss at the local family clinic. The doctor is seduced by his boss’s daughter Victoria who murder’s her father by getting him to inhale an illegal substance while asleep to the get the fifty thousand bucks from his will to give to the doc. At the same time, the doctor’s wife offers to sleep with the guy who is black mailing her husband if he promises to not ruin her husbands life and career. Are you still with me? Hang in there.

Our friend the doc is in deeper trouble now because he choose to go along with the murder of his boss by claiming it was a stroke. He can’t break up the affair with Victoria because she may have the fifty thousand bucks from her. Then comes the real zinger!! At the reading of the will, the deceased boss left all of his money and possessions to his youngest daughter Gail! Only the home and $250 bucks a month go to the gal that worked so hard to get the fifty grand! Now it’s time for out evil little bitch to get revenge on her little sister. It’s also time for the untrustworthy old doc to play his hand at trying his bedside manners on Gail!

A superb job is done in telling the story regardless of how predictable the story is at times. Maria de Aragon masters the role of the bitch who kills her father just to get the man she loves. The movie takes a lumpy and gushy turn about two-thirds of the way into the movie when the doctor falls in love with Gail. Victoria, never one to go down without a fight decides that she is going to use her cold and calculated ways to lure Gail in and make sure she gets nothing, including her man! Try this movie out. It's available on the "Gorehouse Greats" Collection.

Monday, December 27, 2010


This movie was better known to many of you as The Satanic Rites Of Dracula. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee co-star in this classic thriller where Lee returns to his role as Dracula and Cushing is the only man that can stop the evil vampire and and his brides from spreading a deadly plague around the world.

Late at night in Dracula’s castle, a satanic ritual is taking place. While this is going on, a man is tied down to a bed upstairs, he is able to untie himself and strangle his captor and leaves the room. As he tries to escape, he sets off and alarm that alerts all that were in the ritual that he has escaped. While the man is being questioned by investigators, the ritual continues. We see a beautiful woman lying on a bed waiting to be killed as a sacrifice to the evil one. The ceremony begins with a baptism with the blood of a rooster who had it’s throat slit. Inter-spliced is the investigation of the cult by Inspector Murray.

Each of the people involved in the satanic cult are introduced by the investigators through a slide show taken by the man who escaped early in the film. As each cult members name is mentioned, he or she walks up to the woman who is covered with blood, takes a small part of the blood and rub it on their forehead. This is great way to introduce each character and explain why they are important to the story.

Hammer studios who produced this film did an exceptional job of inter-splicing the scenes enough to build a solid foundation for the rest of the film to be built on and to establish that those involved in the occult are wealthy, intelligent individuals who contributed to the good of society but have become addicted to a type of worship that calls for worshiping human blood. Or were they?

Any student who is taking film school, should be encouraged to watch this film. Hammer studios produced this movie and did an exceptional job of injecting large amounts of emotion into each character. The shocking twist and turns are complimented with great cutaways and head shots that add to the shock and horror. The downside to this movie is Dracula is not in the movie very often. His role in the film is limited and Lee is limited to just a few lines which does not allow him to show his great acting skills.