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All Through The House (2015)

Damien Ross

Todd Nunes

“You ain’t nothing but a dickless man, and there ain’t nuthin worse than that!”

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A woman and child are sleeping in a bed together. The child, Jacob, is awoken by a knock on the front door. He goes downstairs to the door, it’s Santa! The woman wakes up, abruptly, goes downstairs, and looks for Jacob. She opens the front door and sees that her Christmas decorations outside are thrashed, like it was Halloween. She shuts the door and finds Jacob asleep in the living room then goes to the bathroom. Santa is now inside. She hops into the shower, even though it is the middle of the night and moments ago she was sleeping. Of course there’s no lock on the door as a hand jerks the shower curtain back... It’s her boyfriend. She tells him to go into the bedroom, “get ready,” and she’ll be there in a minute. Where the hell did he come from?

Candles on the toilet are the only light in the bathroom as the boyfriend gets “ready” in the bedroom. She turns off the shower, pulls back the shower curtain, and there’s Santa, with a pair of hedge clippers. He stabs her upward through her tit, pulls out, and slams spread-eagle blades into her eye sockets. Santa then walks in on the boyfriend in the bedroom. Boyfriend turns around, and for the first time ever, I see a man cut off another man’s penis!

Next scene: Opening music comes on, a goofy version of All Through The House, as a woman, Rachel, drives over to her grandma’s house. She drops off a present for her dead mom, but has to leave to go Christmas shopping with friends. On the way she saw a cop out front with the neighbor, Mrs. Garrett,  Jamie’s mom. Jamie is dead. Mrs. Garrett stops Rachel as she is trying to leave so she makes plans to come back later.

A dog named Sugarballs is barking. I’m gonna get a dog and name it Sugarballs. Sugarballs goes off screen and you can hear him get beat and wimper. His owner calls after him and runs into Santa. She catches a machete to the throat and then stabbed through the top of the head. It coulda been the hedge clippers, but that looked like a pretty big blade. 

Mrs. Garrett wakes up from a nightmare where she alludes to some inappropriate sexual adventures as a child where Santa passed her around to other men. Her house is oddly decorated inside, a lot of Christmas lights and Santa mannequins and a mannequin that looks like Rachel. I would not invite people into my house if I decorated like that.

Outside, Rachel gets into her car and Gia joins her. They go shopping, take pictures, and meet up with another friend, Sarah. Sarah has a surprise for  Rachel, it’s her ex, Cody, who she is not at all happy to see and has not been returning his phone calls.

Back in the neighborhood, some random teenage couple are about to get it on. The girl’s parents are out of town, although they both look every bit of 25. She handcuffs him to the bed then leaves the room. On the hallway table, she notices a pair of hedge clippers, but thinks nothing of it as she continues to the kitchen to grab some peanut butter and other kinky condiments from the fridge. She is greeted by Santa and his hedge clippers as she shuts the door. He crams the closed blades through her jugular and out the top of her head, spraying blood on the ceiling. Say what you want about this film, the kill-scenes are actually pretty legit. He then walks into the bedroom where the helpless boyfriend is lying and chops himself off another dick. It somehow lands on the floor and the cat runs in and starts licking it. 

Back at Mrs. Garrett’s house, she is eating dinner with her Rachel and Santa mannequins, which you’d think would make for a quiet evening, but Mrs. Garrett is batshit crazy. 

The girls ditch Rachel’s ex and head back to Mrs. Garrett’s where she assigns them chores as she prepares to leave. Flashback to Jamie as a child. Mrs. Garrett wouldn’t let Jamie play outside with the other kids cuz she was fragile. She won’t discuss her mysterious death. She leaves. Funny how she was all hard up for company earlier and now that she has company she bails! Although, she did mention a date earlier, but she already ate! The girls are creeped out by the house and all of the presents under the tree are for Jamie. They start talking about Jamie’s disappearance, no one knows what really happened to her.

Santa continues going house to house killing couples who are about to have sex. For some reason everyone wants to have sex tonight. Basically, these random characters we never actually get to know are being killed to show us that Santa is busy and working his way over.

Rachel snoops around Mrs. Garett’s house trying to find information about what really happened to her mom and to Jamie. She knows something is up so she goes back over to Grandma’s house, not knowing that Grandma was Santa’s latest victim. And he killed her cat. Rachel finds the letters Grandma was going through just before she died. Her mom was having an affair with Mrs. Garrett’s husband... Dun dun dun!

Sarah returns from the store with a bottle of wine and is greeted by Santa. She puts up a fight, but gets killed before she can get back into the house. Santa then goes into the house where Gia is all alone. Gia puts up a fight, but Santa is too much for her and she dies a bloody hedge clipper death.

Rachel returns. She finds a mug of eggnog and takes a drink? Her phone rings, it’s the ex, Cody. He did some research on Mr. Garrett. He’s been locked up the past 15 years, about the same time Jamie went missing. Cody’s phone cuts out and she loses him. 

Mrs. Garrett is back, and apparently so is Jamie. Backstory: Jamie was born a boy. Mrs. Garrett hates men and was expecting a little girl so with a little snip snip, she took care of it. I forgot to mention she used to be a nurse, nurses be knowin’ all about the “snip snip.” She blamed it all on her husband, but Jamie was taken away from her anyway. Then the eggnog kicks in. Rachel soon discovers her dead grandma and friends’ bodies just  before passing out, but not before Mrs. Garrett confesses to killing her mom: The evil villain explaining the evil master-plan, instead of killing you, thus sabotaging said plan.

Rachel wakes up in Jamie’s closet, wrists tied to the rod, and wearing a Little Bo Peep dress when here comes Santa. She frees herself enough to shut the closet door and when it opens it’s Cody. He unties her. Is Cody actually Jamie, and who the fuck is Santa? Santa is back and attacks Cody, breaks his ankle, then disappears. Rachel helps Cody out of the room then stashes his wounded ass in a pantry. Now she is alone and it’s Rachel vs. Santa! She kicks him in the balls, but it has no effect. He pushes her out the window then jumps out after her. He grabs his hedge clippers and the chase begins.

Rachel makes her way back into the house where Mrs. Garrett is. She sees the Rachel mannequin is wearing her outfit from earlier. Just then, Mrs. Garrett attacks. Rachel gets the better of her, but Santa’s back and takes her to the “Time-out” room where she’s put in a little cage. The jig is finally up as Mrs. Garrett calls Santa Jamie! Jamie brings a bag to her and it’s literally a bag of dicks, “a variety of shapes and sizes.” But Jamie doesn’t want of one her dicks from the bag, she wants Cody’s. Looks like Jamie's getting a new dick for Christmas!

Mrs. Garrett sends her to get the medical kit, then devises a plan with Rachel to kill her. It turns out Mr. Garrett knocked her and Rachel’s mom up at about the same time, but Mrs. Garrett was supposed to get the little girl, not the boy. She takes Jamie to the other room, but kills Cody first.

They walk over to the Christmas tree. After a little heart to heart and apology, she stabs Jamie in the back, but Jamie is still able to fight back. Jamie gets mount and chokes her as Rachel takes a seat on the couch and watches. Once Mrs. Garrett is presumably dead, Rachel walks over to and says, “Let’s go bury this bitch in the backyard.” The End, as the questions enter my brain like an avalanche.

This may be one of the best Christmas horror films I’ve ever seen, granted, it did get a little weird and my judgement comes with two asterisks: A) The last few films I’ve watched have been fun, yet low bar, and B) Most Christmas horror flicks are just lame and seem to be made for the sake of horror at Christmas, with the exception of the original Black Christmas

This film brings back the ol’ whodunnit trope from 80’s slashers flicks. The killer is always in your face, but so are the red herrings. It slowly unravels motives while still keeping you guessing. The ending provides conclusion, but at the same time you are still left with a WTF feeling. There’s a certain deliberate cheeziness to the opening, but by the 15 minute mark that all goes away. All in all, it’s a good Christmas horror flick despite having a lot in common with bad Christmas horror. There’s the family element that seems to linger throughout most Christmas horror, granted, what’s scarier than meeting your significant other’s family? But this film puts a twist on it that makes it forgivable. As confusing as it can be to watch, within 20 minutes afterwards, I was like, “Oookay, I get it, I think.”

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The Badass Bitch Award goes to Rachel? I thought so until the very end when it turned out she was in bed with the killer all along, or was she? Was she playing along knowing the truth about Jamie in order to find out the more about her mom, or did she just get lucky? The ending was open-ended, but she kicked ass and stayed alive when no one else could, so there’s always that.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t let your girlfriend handcuff you to a bed.

2) Don’t have sex on Christmas Eve?

3) Don’t drink things you find pre-poured in a creepy house.

All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

Damien Ross

Damien Leone

“Calm down, there’s no one in the house, you’re just being stupid.”

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It’s Halloween night and Sarah has a babysitting gig watching Tia and Timmy. The parents aren’t expected back till around 1AM. It’s 10:15 right now and they’ve already gone trick ‘r treating. Timmy finds a VHS tape in his bag of candy. He wants to watch it, but Sarah is against it. It’s 2013, why do they have a VCR? To get out of carving pumpkins, Sarah agrees to watch the tape, but she wants to preview it first. Who carves pumpkins after trick ‘r treating right before bed on Halloween night, hasn’t that ship already sailed?

The film on the VHS tape begins with creepy freeze-frames. The kids come back in to watch, which Sarah agrees to, but if it gets too hairy she is going to turn it off. One of the freeze-frames shows the clown from The Terrifier... That’s right, same director and I was already thinking about reviewing that new-to-Netflix movie for October so now I have the perfect segway. The Terrifier stalks a girl as she waits at the subway while Sarah and the kids watch. The footage acts almost as some kind of warning to the main characters, a form of foreshadowing, which may have played out better with a found-footage angle, but instead this entire movie is shot the same. Finally Sarah has seen enough. She turns off the VCR and sends the kids, who seem older than they’re supposed to be, and definitely too old for a babysitter, to bed. 

Sarah’s friend Caroline calls and as the voice of reason says, “Babysitting on Halloween, that’s just asking for trouble.” She tells Caroline about the video then makes plans to meet up for a drink afterward. She hangs up and hears a sound at the window. Jump-scare! It’s just some neighborhood kids.

Sarah goes upstairs and tucks the kids in. Timmy tells her she sucks and I think Tia freaked her out a little. She then goes back downstairs and drinks wine while watching Night of the Living Dead. The camera keeps panning on the VHS case.

Upstairs, Timmy’s door slowly creeps open, but it’s just Tia, his “older” sister. She’s creeped out and wants to know if she can sleep with him. The music and video quality of this film makes me feel like I’m watching an episode of Tales From The Darkside.

Okay, next scene, I thought Sarah turned the video back on, but we’ve actually switched scenes back to her friend Caroline and catching up on her boring backstory. She recently moved and loves the silence of her new area, but is now freaked out. Somehow Sarah and the kids watching the video has sent the evil all the way over to Caroline? She talks to her boyfriend, John, on the phone. She’s scared. Something landed and is glowing. He tells her to call the police, but she’s too scared to hang up. The power is out and her car is dead. Back inside, there’s some kinda robotic alien in her basement and it attacks her! She escapes, but her phone won’t work (The toughest part of writing a horror script these days is getting around the cell phone). It would’ve been funny if the alien was John in disguise. This is a very long scene of the alien trying to find Caroline till her phone rings leading him to her. He attacks her again-oh and I didn’t mention that in the opening of this scene she was on the phone explaining how John paints alien shit at night and in the morning has no recollection of it.

Back to Sarah: Sarah checks the children. She thought she’d heard them running around, but they are still in bed. They also heard her creeping around every few minutes jiggling the doorknob, dun dun dun! Sarah goes back downstairs and for some reason turns the video back on. The Terrifier is back! He hacksaws a gas attendant apart then stalks another girl! Finally, Sarah has once again seen enough and stops the tape just as the home phone rings. It’s a panicked girl claiming there’s been a murder by some guy in a clown costume. The tape comes back on. It’s the Terrifier. He looks like he’s trying to get out of TV, but now Sarah is onscreen and the Terrifier is on the couch behind her. The stop button won’t work as he stands up and approaches her. She finally ejects the tape and destroys it then hears a scream from upstairs. Sarah runs upstairs and finds the Terrifier at the top, covered in blood and laughing. Then he disappears. She goes into the bedroom and finds Timmy and Tia’s severed heads on the bed along with severed body parts scattered around the bed. The End.

Okay, so this was kind of a clever anthology that introduces us to The Terrifier. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay much attention or write about the VHS anthology parts cuz it felt like they were just splicing a bunch of abandoned short films together. That’s probably what they did. That, and as a rule on this blog site, I don’t do anthologies. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching them, but these reviews get long enough without trying to cover three stories or more in one set. 

As a plug that I don’t get paid to endorse, I bought a Roku about a month ago and there’s an app called tubi (I’m sure you can get it on Apple TV or whatever you use as well, I just wasn’t aware of it till I bought the Roku, which I do like better than Apple TV). Anyway, tubi is free, except they do run commercials every 20 minutes or so, but they got a pretty legit horror selection so being that it is October, what have ya got to lose? Check it out. 

I had an idea that for this October I would review movies that took place on Halloween and/or had clowns in them so this taking place on Halloween makes the perfect segway for The Terrifier next week. The only downfall is that now I have to sit through that movie again. It was fun to watch this and see where he came from, hopefully that will give me a new insight for The Terrifier revisit. I know, last year I said I'd do the Rob Zombie Halloweens, maybe next year.

This movie contained no badasses. Sorry, it happens sometimes, the characters in this film didn’t really do shit, Terrifier wins!

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t babysit on Halloween.

2) Get rid of your VCR and stick to the technology consistent to the century you are living in.

3) Always check the backseat of your car after dark.

April Fools Day (1986)

Damien Ross

Fred Walton

“Your fly is open and your Hostess Twinkie is hangin out.”

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Muffy is having a Spring Break party on her dad’s island. Once her friends arrive that Friday evening, the next ferry won’t come by until Monday morning. As Muffy readies the island mansion that she hopes to inherit, she’s having weird childhood birthday memories that never really tie into the rest of the film.

The ferry full of her college friends arrives at the island and smashes Buck as he tries to dock it. From a nearby boat, Constable Potter watches the whole thing and rushes over so Ferryman throws Buck into Potter’s boat and they speed off leaving Potter behind. This is probably not the best way to treat a wounded person. Whatever happened to not touching them at all? For some reason, Potter blames the incident on the college kids. He needs to borrow Muffy’s dad’s boat to get back to the mainland. Why didn’t he just drive the ferry back? The college kids drive to the mansion even though Potter told them to stay put. Exactly how long did he expect them to stay put? He fuckin left!

Later that evening, Skip has a chip on his shoulder about Buck. He feels like his prank was responsible for the incident.

At dinner they all discuss their little rich kid futures. Graduation is coming up and none of them know what they want to be when they grow up, still they celebrate friendship while constantly playing pranks on each other.

After dinner they go to their rooms. Hal’s room has a bunch random news articles strategically placed about mysterious deaths. It turns out that Muffy has left little souvenirs in all of their rooms, like heroin needles in the medicine cabinet, bondage shackles in a dresser, door knobs that fall off, collapsible chairs, exploding cigars....

Skip has been outside guilt-drinking the whole time. He goes into the shack and gets spooked by the token jump-scare cat. You know the one, it’s made a ton of horror movie cameos jumping and screaching to break the tension usually never to be heard from again. Horrible Bosses does a pretty hilarious tribute to it. I love it when a non-horror movie pays an homage to a horror movie. Skip then gets killed.

In the morning, it is no longer April Fool's Day, and Muffy is acting weird. Rob is depressed about his future so he and his girlfriend (Alice, from the original Friday The 13th) decide to have sex about it, but instead find Skip’s body. Nan is pissed at Muffy for the tape recording of a baby crying in her closet. Evidently, Nan may have had an abortion in the past that she is not proud of. The irony of abortion is that while the Left are in full support of it, there is still shame attached to the act actually doing it. The guys split up to look for Skip. Arch (Biff, from Back to the Future) steps into a rope trap and gets hanged upside down while a snake bites at him until someone walks up and kills him. As an 80’s kid, based on TV programming and cartoons, it seemed inevitable that at some point in your life you would find yourself hanging upside down from a tree with a rope around your ankle, that or sinking quicksand.

Nikki and Hal go to the well for water. Hal accidentally drops the bucket down the well and instead of helping, Nikki accidentally drops the flashlight down the well so she climbs down, cuz Hal’s kind of a bitch. She slips and falls into the water and discovers Biff and Skip’s heads, and what looks like Nan’s body while Hal shouts helplessly at her from above before finally climbing down to save her.

The remaining college kids decide they’re safer in the house and call the cops. Rob answers when Constable Potter calls back. Potter says he’s on his way and to sit tight. Rob knows something that he’s not saying. Alice finds a picture of two little girls in Muffy’s dad’s study when Muffy walks in on her. She says something creepy and walks away. Hal has a gun and the blame game ensues. All the random souvenirs they found seem to have something to do with their pasts as they start to turn on each other and while that is implied, Nan is the only one with a secret she is actually hiding. Did Muffy invite them all over to kill them?

Nikki packs up her stuff and is getting ready to leave. She’s actually being pretty cool considering she swam with two severed heads and a corpse earlier. Her boyfriend Chaz is an inconsiderate prick, but not for long. When she comes back into the room he’s dead. Stabbed in the dick, which is poetic justice for all the “your fly is down” jokes he cracked in the opening of the film. Nikki is next.

Rob and Alice go up to the attic. He tells her what Potter said on the phone: Do not trust Muffy. They find little Barbie-like dolls of themselves, each decorated the way they died. How’d she get the Nikki and Chaz dolls up there so quick? Downstairs, they find Hal hogtied and hanging by a noose. How the hell did Muffy string up a grown man all by herself? They go outside to steal a motorboat and find a hospital note about Muffy being institutionalized for three years, but she’s been at college with them the past three years? She is considered extremely dangerous. They have to go back to the kitchen for the boat key. Inside, They discover that Muffy has a twin sister, Buffy, right before they find Muffy’s decapitated head staring at them from behind a painting. Now Buffy is after them with a butcher knife. So was weird Muffy actually Buffy all day? Rob gets locked in the pantry and it’s Buffy vs. Alice. Alice is at a severe disadvantage as she is unarmed. She eventually escapes the dining room only to find all of her friends alive, chillin, like nothing ever happened. April Fool's! The whole thing was an elaborate prank. Muffy’s plan to inherit the mansion and sustain it financially was to turn it into a whodunnit bed and breakfast so she tried it out on her unsuspecting friends. There is no Buffy. Skip, her cousin, is actually her twin brother. Potter is her uncle, Buck is a special effects guy, and Ferryman is just a ferryman who apparently always had the desire to act.

Afterward, Muffy goes to her room and finds the music box from the beginning of the film on her bed. Nan sneaks up behind her and pretends to kill her by slashing her throat, which scares the shit out of her, then they laugh. The end.

All right, so this film is actually not bad. It’s a mystery/slasher so there’s no slasher development and no Final girl, which is almost too bad cuz it woulda been Alice for the second time since Friday The 13th. I saw this film when I was a kid, but I’d pretty much forgotten all of it except that it was a prank at the end. I also always mixed it up with Happy Birthday To Me-I saw them both around the same time. Not knowing the ending, things seem a little too convenient in terms of placement and characters stumbling upon things when they did, but after watching the ending and looking back, there’s no way Muffy could have planted everything so strategically. Like, how could she have foreseen that Nikki would fall down the well? All in all, this film covered its bases and the picture quality was much better than my memory of it.

The Badass Bitch Award would’ve gone to Alice, but since none of this was real, there is no reward.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t split up!

2) Don’t go into the well!

3) Zip up your fly.

Automaton Transfusion (2006)

Damien Ross

Steven C. Miller

"I'd like to drive a chainsaw right through his face."

I know it's hard to end a zombie movie but “To Be Continued...” after an hour and fifteen minutes? Oh Geezus.

For a low budget movie the kill scenes weren't bad. Three friends are on their way to a concert, but when they arrive, it is seemingly a ghost town, until they are greeted by a horde of fast zombies. They hide in a bar until they can make a run for it. One of the guys, Chris, has a girlfriend who is at a party back home so they make a run for it and head to the party, but everyone has already been killed by zombies, except for Chris's girlfriend. How convenient. They make a plan to go to the high school to look for survivors, which didn’t make sense to me because it was night time, why would anybody be at the school? They go to the school and discover zombies and corpses.

In the basement, they find the janitor, only the janitor is not really a janitor, he is a special agent and so is Chris's now dead father, apparently.

Cause: Grover is an experiment town where they tried to raise an army of the undead... To be continued.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Make sure to always keep a hammer under the bed.

2) Do not run directly into a horde of zombies.

3) If you are hiding in a bathroom from zombies, make sure there is a window and that it is closed.

Amityville Horror (1979)

Damien Ross

Stuart Rosenberg

"Houses don't have memories."

Newlyweds, George and Kathy Lutz, have found their dream house and for $40,000 less than its value, but there's a catch: One year ago, it was the site of a mass murder. Knowing this, they purchase it anyway.

Apparently, the murders took place at 3:15Am, because that's when George and Kathy seem to alternate waking up in the morning. From the outside at night, the house kind of looks like a creepy face.

Their priest friend comes to bless the house. When nobody answers he just walks right on in then finds himself locked inside a room full of flies and he can't breathe until finally the house tells him to "Get Out!" He escapes and like an asshole mentions nothing about it to the Lutz family.

Later on, their nun friend comes by, but has to leave because she has become violently ill. If you don't like religious people, then this is the house for you!

The daughter's imaginary friend, who is apparently not quite so imaginary, locks the babysitter inside the closet who then immediately starts freaking out to the point that her knuckles are bleeding within seconds from banging on the door.

George is becoming more of an asshole everyday and he apparently looks like the son who murdered the previous family. It seems it is not the murdered family haunting the house, it's evil spirits that caused the son to kill his family, something about the gate to Hell in the basement.

All movies seem that much more intriguing when they are based on actual events, especially horror movies, but I haven't researched the Amityville lore to buy in one way or the other. Maybe the house was haunted, maybe the basement held the gate to Hell, or maybe this is just the story of a man haunted by a huge mistake: He married a single mother with three kids and bought a house with her, which was cheap, but still probably more than he could afford.

On the first night he and his wife made love, but the next time around he had trouble getting it up. It seems the only wood he's capable of producing is all the goddamn wood he's constantly chopping up outside. He's having trouble sleeping and falling behind at work to the point that he eventually punches out his friend/business partner at the bar. All the while, the kids do whatever the hell they want and Kathy doesn't even have a job. Shoulda never bought that house. Eventually, he talks the family into leaving, but not without going back for his dog.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) If a house tells you to get out, then it's time to leave. Like that old Eddie Murphy bit, "This is a nice place... Too bad we got to get the fuck out of here."

2) Don't move into a house that a family of six were murdered in, even if it's a hell of a deal.

3) Maybe check into a motel after opening the portal to Hell in your basement.

Altered (2006)

Damien Ross

Eduardo Sanchez

"Last time we left it up to you, you had the whole town thinking we all went retard!"

A group of redneck hillbilly friends encounter an alien in the woods. They are each probed and one of them is killed. 15 years later, three of the redneck hillbilly friends, Tony, Otis, and Cody, find the same alien so they take it to their friend Wyatt's girlfriend's garage. The friends proceed to turn on each other as they decide what to do with the alien. Cody wants revenge because it killed his brother Timmy, but Wyatt is convinced that if they kill it, the other aliens will destroy the entire Earth's population (they never explain why he thinks that).

Eventually, after what seemed like hours since Wyatt's girlfriend called 911, the sheriff shows up. All he really wants is a beer because evidently the police get calls about “Wyatt having aliens” a few times a year. But this time, it is for real and the sheriff is of course the first casualty. One by one, they all go down except for Hope and Wyatt.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Hope for shooting the alien in the head even though she was instructed not to. They then blow up her house and the aliens leave. I was expecting Timmy to come back at some point, but he never did.

This movie was entertaining while I watched it, but now that I'm done it seems kinda stupid. Also, an alien shows up on some guy’s doorstep at the end? Maybe that alien was Timmy and the guy who answered the door was Timmy and Cody's dad? I don't know. There was a lot of funny dialogue even though the movie didn't seem to be trying to be a comedy.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Watch out for bear traps when you're in the woods and if you come across one, maybe keep an eye out for bears.

2) Always carry plenty of duct tape.

3) Don't let your friends know where your girlfriend lives.

 

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Damien Ross

John Landis

"Have You ever tried talking to a dead person? It's boring!"

All right, this is a top fiver for me and werewolves aren't even on my list of top five sub-genres, but there's something about this movie. Maybe it's the chemistry between David and Jack that makes them believable or maybe it's the "how it would happen" factor, like the OD scene in Pulp Fiction, I believe this is how it would happen. There's nothing over the top about this movie. It's believable, except for the whole werewolf thing, but it doesn't ask too much of the viewer. Also, the soundtrack is awesome in a time where I don't think there was much emphasis on soundtracks.

David and Jack are backpacking across Northern England and come across a small pub, The Slaughtered Lamb. The patrons seem to shun outsiders and also seem to know about werewolves, but instead of warning David and Jack, they send them on their way. The closest thing to a warning they offer is to stay on the road. After the werewolf kills Jack, the patrons shoot the wolf, but not before it gets a chance to scratch David.

David wakes up in a hospital three weeks later where he meets the cute nurse, Alex Price. He soon begins to question his sanity because nobody will tell him the truth about what happened that night and he's been having dreams where he is running through the woods naked craving raw meat. He also has a weird nightmare where a team of mutant Nazis gun down his family and burn his house to the ground. I have no idea what that has to do with the rest of the movie. Maybe that was the only way they could think of to introduce David's family without actually having them show up to Europe.

Jack's corpse visits David with a message: He has to walk the earth in limbo, mutilated, until the last werewolf, David, dies, and that he should just go kill himself.

David gets released and having nowhere to go Alex lets him stay at her place where she gets unusually upfront about her feelings. One thing leads to another, they're in the shower, yadda, yadda, yadda... David wakes up while Alex is still asleep and goes into the bathroom where he is once again visited by Jack, only a little more decayed this time. He warns David that tomorrow is the full moon, but David doesn't want to believe it. Jack is a bad dream. Everyone David has talked to says he is just experiencing grief.

That night, David turns into a werewolf. While on a killing spree, his doctor, J.S. Hirsch is actually looking into the werewolf case and discovers that the crazy person was a cover up for the wolf attack.

In the morning, David wakes up naked at the zoo. He awkwardly makes his way home and when he meets up with Alex he feels great, full of energy like a teenager, until they get into a cab and he hears the news on the radio about six murders. He puts two and two together and realizes that Jack was right. Alex tries to take him to Dr. Hirsch, but he escapes and tries to get himself arrested, which actually would have been the best case scenario, unless you're his cell mate. At least in a cage he would be contained and they would have to believe him, but that would have been a shitty ending.

He calls his family back home to say goodbye, but his little sister is the only one home. He tries to kill himself, but loses his nerve and when he looks up he sees Jack across the street at the porno theater. The porn flick playing is called See You Next Wednesday. The first time I noticed that sign I immediately thought of the the Michael Jackson video, Thriller. One of cops says, "There's a note written in blood, it says, see you next Wednesday." That video was also directed by John Landis and after a little research I found that this is his little joke he throws into pretty much all of his projects.

Inside the theater, David has a seat with Jack. Well, Jack and the six corpses who are now also doomed to walk around in limbo until David dies. David has accepted his fate, but still can't bring himself to kill himself, so the corpses suggest helpful tips. Instead, he once again turns into a werewolf and goes on an even more murderous rampage until finally cornered by the police and Alex. Alex tries to talk him down, but by now he knows what he is and commits suicide by cop.

There's no Badass Award for this film because there really is no villain. The villain lives inside the victim. The full moon is the bottle of whiskey and the werewolf is the alcoholic who gives in only to wake up naked somewhere with no idea he's done anything wrong until slowly putting the pieces back together. It's you're classic Jeckell and Hyde story. It's not like The Howling where there's an us against them feeling, the inner turmoil grows inside David within the first ten minutes: Am I crazy? Did I imagine that? Why am I having these dreams? Did I kill those people? The corpses that haunt him symbolize the people who love him and want him to get help.

I just heard that they are remaking this movie. The only good thing is that it's John Landis's son making it, but this is a movie that needs to be left alone. They already made a sequel in the late 90's that I actually enjoyed, because it was a sequel and you could take it or leave it. I worry that remakes taint the original for the next generation because when you see an over the top special effects laden movie with little to no story, then go back and watch the original with expectations, it's seems boring in comparison. Instead of enjoying the buildup of the story line, they'll just laugh at how fake everything looks.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Stay on the road.

2) Beware the moon.

3) Don't fall in love with your patients.