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A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Damien Ross

Wes Craven

“He’s dead because mommy killed him.”

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Opening scene: The making of the razor glove in a boiler room inside Tina’s dream. I read the first few pages of this screenplay and was amazed at how vividly Wes describes this scene. Just as Freddy grabs her, she wakes up. Her mom and some dude walk in. She tells Tina to either stop having bad dreams or cut her fingernails. It wasn’t until a few years ago through IMDb that I discovered the actress playing Tina also played John Cusack’s ex-girlfriend in Better Off Dead, even though I’ve seen both movies a million times.

The next morning, babyface Johnny Depp, Glen, gives Tina and Nancy a ride to school. Tina mentions her bad dream. Nancy’s had similar bad dreams, but takes it with a grain of salt. Rod, Tina’s douchebag boyfriend, makes a brief appearance before they all separate and go to first period.

That night, Glen and Nancy stay over at Tina’s for the night, her mom is outta town for a few days. Tina and Nancy start talking about their dreams and both begin to describe Freddy, Glen is the skeptic. They hear a noise outside and investigate. It’s Rod, providing our first jumpscare. He takes Tina upstairs, which is Glen’s cue to get happening with Nancy, but Nancy is the good girl so she’s not in the mood, even though Glen is her boyfriend and so far Tina is the main character. Tina, Tina, Tina.

Eventually, they all fall asleep and Tina starts dreaming. She hears noises so she goes outside to check it out. She follows a voice and other various noises before turning around and seeing Freddy. His arms stretch out as he scratches the wall with his razor glove, which looks cheezy as fuck now, but as a kid, I think that it looking so fake, made it more surreal, and harder to wrap my little brain around. Also it was dark, and we’re still only getting glimpses and piecing together what Freddy actually looks like. This was the beauty of seeing this fim while it was still brand new, before all the horrible sequels, remakes, and tv shows. Before he became one of the most recognizable icons of all time, he was an enigma. I’m glad Craven cashed in and made all that money, but it would’ve been interesting had this been a stand alone film.

Back to Tina’s dream: Freddy chases her. He’s behind her, he’s in front of her, he’s everywhere! In the dream, she runs back to the house and tries frantically to get back inside, but in reality she is still in bed. Rod wakes up to her screaming and thrashing around, in a kill-scene that makes us forget those terrible elongated arms just moments ago. This scene, back and forth, in and out of reality, is one of the best ever. Tina being slain by an invisible killer... This is the scene that sets up EVERYTHING.

Nancy and Glen wake up and of course they are sleeping in separate rooms. They open Tina’s door. The room is covered in blood. There’s an open window and no Rod as we shift to a new main character: Nancy. She and Glen go to the police station where we find out Nancy’s dad is a cop and of course her parents are divorced too, it’s the 80’s man. He walks into the room where Nancy and her mom are, and he’s not happy. Where’d Glen go? Rod is suspect number one, but Nancy tries to explain that Tina had dreamed this was gonna happen, that someone in her dream was trying to kill her and that’s why they were at her house in the first place. Of course she didn’t bother to let them know that she was having similar dreams.

The next morning, Nancy’s mom is in the kitchen watching the news (starring Tina!), and pouring herself a drink, which happens so fast you almost don’t notice, but it is meant to foreshadow that something is up and she knows it cuz she is clearly getting ready for work as Nancy comes down ready for school. Since this is the first time we see her drink, the question is: Did Tina’s death flood her with memories which triggered her to drink or has she been a lush the whole time?

On the walk to school, Rod grabs Nancy and pulls her into the bushes declaring his innocence. Her dad shows up, gun blazin’ so Rod makes a run for it, but it’s no use, he’s surrounded as Nancy realizes her dad used her.

At school, her class is talking about Shakespeare as she dozes off. She gets a visit from Tina’s bloody corpse in a body bag so she follows her downstairs to the boiler room. Apparently, in the 80’s, basements and cellars in schools were not uncommon. She meets Freddy, we meet Freddy. She tells herself it’s only a dream and deliberately burns her arm on a hot pipe to wake herself up, then wakes up screaming in class. The teacher sends her home, but wait, the burn on her arm is real!

On the way home, she pays Rod a visit and tries to pry information out of him. He describes razor cuts on Tina, then tells her about the dream he had the other night about a guy with razor fingers and now she is convinced of Rod’s innocence.

At home, she falls asleep in the bath and gets pulled under. Suddenly, her bathtub is ten feet deep as Freddy attacks, but Mom comes to the rescue! Hey Wes, if you’re not gonna show vivid nudity, then don’t bother getting our hopes up with a bath scene. I assume she has good hygiene, there’s no need to prove it! She assures her mom everything is fine then pulls a little bottle of “Sta Awake Fast” pills outta the medicine cabinet. Why the fuck were those in there?

She lays in bed watching Evil Dead when Glen sneaks over. He lives across the street, and to prove it, he shows up barefoot. So far, Glen is the only one who hasn’t had a nightmare. He agrees to watch her sleep while she “looks for someone.” In her dream she visits Rod's cell as Freddy visits. She calls for Glen, but no answer. Freddy follows her home and attacks her until finally her alarm goes off. Glen fell asleep and she’s pissed. They sneak out to the police station to see Rod, but it’s too late. Her dad is once again not happy to see her.

As they leave Rod’s funeral, Nancy describes Freddy to her parents and even though she knows his name, she goes ahead and leaves that detail out. And even though her parents know who she’s talking about, they’re in denial and her mom takes her in for a sleep study. She gets monitored as she has a nightmare and when she awakens, she has fresh cuts on her arm, but more importantly, she has Freddy’s hat!

In the morning, Nancy walks in on her mother on the phone, and a bottle of vodka. Her mom actually has the audacity to lecture her about drinking coffee, even though they are both medicating themselves by drinking, they’re just using different beverages. Her mom tells her she threw the hat away, but Nancy finds it, and it even says Fred Krueger’s name in it. Her mom has known about him all along.

She leaves and takes a walk with Glenn. He explains Dream Skills to her and taking away power then makes fun of her booby trap and survival skill book.

When she gets home, there are bars on her bedroom windows and there’s mom with a cigarette and a new bottle of vodka. Her mom walks her down to the basement to spill the beans: Freddy was a child murderer who killed at least 20 kids. He was eventually caught, but got off on a technicality, so the parents tracked him down. They found him in the old boiler room where he’d killed the kids so they doused the place with gasoline. They lit it up and watched it burn. Her mom took his glove as a souvenir and has kept it in her furnace ever since. Why isn’t the glove burned up?

Nancy hasn’t slept in seven days. She calls Glenn. She wants him to meet her at midnight to watch her sleep so she can pull Freddy out of her dream and into reality. Her mom comes in, tells her goodnight, and takes her coffee pot, but Nancy has a spare. Midnight comes, but ol’ flaky Glen has once again fallen asleep... For the last time. I don’t know if Nancy is awake or asleep, cuz she’s getting calls from Freddy despite her phone being unplugged. She tries to leave the house, but ol’ drunk ma is on the couch and has locked her in.

Glen gets swallowed into his bed then the bed vomits enough blood to fuel ten people. His mom walks in, horrified, and calls the cops. The cops and paramedics arrive, Nancy’s dad being one of them. Nancy watches from her bedroom window. Blood is leaking downstairs into the Glen’s living room.

Nancy believes she is the only one who can stop Freddy so she propositions her dad. She’s going to go to sleep and he needs to be there in exactly 20 minutes, time enough for her to go to sleep, grab him, and bring him into reality. Also, enough time to set booby traps and say goodbye to mom. She sets her alarm and goes to sleep.

She goes down to the basement and checks the furnace, the glove is gone. She walks down another flight of stairs going lower and lower into a boiler room. I think this house was built on an Ancient Indian boiler room! She announces herself then wanders deeper and finds him, but now she’s in her front yard. Her alarm goes off and she wakes up alone, but not for long. Freddy is in reality and the booby traps are in place. She yells to her dad and all the cops outside, she is still locked inside.

After hitting Freddy with a sledge hammer, electrocuting him, lighting him on fire, and pushing him down the stairs, she finally gets her dad’s attention. Her dad comes inside and they see flaming footprints that lead upstairs where Freddy is still on fire attacking her mom. Her dad throws a blanket on top of them to smother the fire and when he pulls it away all that’s left is her moms corpse, which disappears into the mattress. Freddy comes back and Nancy realizes she gives him his strength so she denounces him and takes all of his energy away. He disappears. She opens her mom’s bedroom door and suddenly she’s on her front porch on a bright beautiful, yet foggy morning. Her friends are alive again and they’ve just arrived to pick her up for school in Glen’s convertible. Her mom waves goodbye from the front porch. Suddenly, in an unnecessary turn of events that still makes no sense, the car becomes possessed by Freddy, then his arm pulls Mom through the little window in the front door back into the house. The End.

It always breaks my heart watching this movie cuz I know that shitty ending is coming. Apparently, the ending is a combination of two conflicting things: What Craven wanted and what producer Bob Shaye wanted, so they compromised and did both. Craven wanted the happy ending and Shaye wanted a hook, which could lead to a sequel. Instead, we just got confusion.

Afterthought: I think I was in the fourth grade, when my best friend, Eric, came to school one day describing this film to me. It was at his house that same year I watched Faces of Death, his mom and her boyfriend had rented it. He was a sadistic son of a bitch (The boyfriend, not Eric). Ironically, my mom, the horror junkie, wouldn’t let me watch this film, despite the countless other films she’d exposed me to, but not cuz it was scary. It was the same reason she wouldn’t let me have an umbrella, toothpaste in a pump, Pepsi, or Burger King: She thought it was stupid.

If you’re afraid of the dark, close your eyes and then it’s morning, but what if the monster is in your dreams? I couldn’t win at night, eyes open or shut. Luckily, as I got older, I realized I liked being scared. I became obsessed and even had nightmares of Freddy way before I actually saw the film based on Eric’s synopsis. Back then, there were no spoiler alerts. Your friend would explain the entire movie and that made you want to see it even more.

Wes Craven always has interesting inspirations behind his films that I’ll delve into a little as I review them. Freddy was named after a kid who bullied him when he was a kid and his look was inspired by a creepy old guy he saw outside his house one night. As for the rest of the story:

I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a family who had escaped the Killing Fields in Cambodia and managed to get to the U.S. Things were fine, and then suddenly the young son was having very disturbing nightmares. He told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him would get him, so he tried to stay awake for days at a time. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought this crisis was over. Then they heard screams in the middle of the night. By the time they got to him, he was dead. He died in the middle of a nightmare. Here was a youngster having a vision of a horror that everyone older was denying. That became the central line of Nightmare on Elm Street.”

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Fun Fact: This is Johnny Depp’s first film. If I remember correctly, his buddy Nicolas Cage got him the audition and he beat out all the other actors because Craven’s teenage daughter thought he was cute.

Another Fun Fact, Wes Craven vs. Sam Raimi: In The Hills Have Eyes, there’s a torn Jaws poster hanging on the wall so in the original Evil Dead Sam Raimi hung a torn The Hills Have Eyes poster in the cabin cellar, hence Nancy watches Evil Dead in Nightmare. A few years later, in Evil Dead 2, Raimi hangs a Freddy glove in the cabin. Several years later in Scream, Jamie Kennedy’s character has a selection of vhs horror films, one of them being Evil Dead, but they choose to watch Halloween as a final subtle diss on Raimi.

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The Badass Bitch Award goes to Nancy Thompson for keeping her sanity, staying awake for a week, studying booby traps, and trying at all costs to stop Freddy, despite losing all of her friends along the way while everybody downplayed her.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) If you hear noises outside, stay inside!

2) Don’t take the law into your own hands.

3) Don’t go to sleep!

Night of Something Strange (2016)

Damien Ross

Jonathon Stratton

“My best friend just tried to kill me. I think it’s either something she ate or she’s on her period.”

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Cause: At the morgue, a graveyard shift janitor, Cornelius, has sex with a female corpse. Later, in his bedroom, he’s clutching his genital region in agony. A lady downstairs is cooking food. I’m assuming she’s his mom even though I can’t gauge either of their ages, could be his girlfriend. When the food is done and he doesn’t respond to the call, she goes upstairs and walks in on him pissing on his bed. He turns around looking ghoulish and pisses on her. Then he rapes her. That’s two rapes inside the first five minutes! Instead of craving brains, this STD-like virus turns its host into an orgasm craving zombie. 

Cornelius finishes, but she’s not dead. She smacks him in the face with his alarm clock. He follows her into the hallway so she stabs him and he goes down. She creeps up to see if he’s dead and he grabs her by the pussy, tears it out, and eats it, then escapes. Outside, he gets hit by a couple of drunk idiots in a truck. And dragged.

Enough intro, let’s get to the main characters: Christine is sitting in class writing in her notebook about her final Spring Break before senior year. She’s going on a beach trip with her BFF, Carrie, and Carrie’s boyfriend Freddy, her half-cousin, Jason, her other BFF, Samara, and Samara’s boyfriend, Brooklyn. Is it a coincidence that most of these characters are named after killers from other horror films? I think not. What better way to earn street cred than to throw in an homage in the first ten minutes?

A girl named Pam leaves class her boyfriend, Dirk. Originally, I assumed Pam was Samara cuz she got a fucked up text from Brooklyn and decided not to go. I assumed Dirk was her back up plan, but it turns out, totally different character. Brooklyn goes along anyway cuz he’s got the weed.

After school, they hit the road, road trip! Along the way, they stop by a gas station so Carrie can pee. It’s the same gas station Pam and Dirk stopped by where she discarded her tampon and didn’t flush. Also the same gas station the two drunk idiots from the opening inadvertently escorted Cornelius to. Cornelius wandered in, ate the tampon, then vomited blood and whatever all over the toilet. Does that mess stop Carrie from peeing in that toilet? Naw, she’ll just hover. Before she knows it, she slips and soaks bloody/zombie/bile/puke all over her butt cheeks.

Cornelius’ mom(?) killed the mailman so now he’s a zombie. He shows up at the gas station, and rapes the cashier. I thought she was already a zombie, turns out she’s just an ex-DMV employee, nooch.

Night has fallen and Carrie is nauseous. She pukes, so Brooklyn pukes, that toilet seat was no joke, Carrie is starting to turn.

Elsewhere, at the Redwood Motel, Pam and Dirk are getting it on, but he can’t keep his mind off the dick pic texts he saw on her phone while she was in the gas station bathroom. He throws his bloody condom on the floor. It was a black dick so it would’ve made more sense if Pam had been Samara, cheating on Brooklyn with Dirk and vice versa, rather than introducing a whole new character who doesn’t tie in at all.

Christine and the gang show up at the same motel. Freddy and Jason go in to rent two rooms, which introduces the weird ass motel manager. While checking in, through a hole in the wall, Jason spies a little girl playing paddy cake with a figure in a weird mask. They get their rooms and the girls find out that Freddy tried to make Jason sleep in the car so he could have sex with Carrie. He explains to Carrie that he has to have sex with her because blue balls runs in his family, which could lead to Explosive Penis Syndrome. Carrie kicks him out of the room anyway, so he goes outside and jerks off behind a dumpster till the motel manager catches him. After the manager leaves he somehow hits his head on the dumpster and knocks himself out.

Meanwhile, Jason is still sitting in the car alone when the gas station zombie woman shows up. He runs into carrie’s room. Carrie has almost fully turned and wants him to fuck her so he does, despite the zombie woman chasing him. See how guys are? Meanwhile, Brooklyn tries to hook up with Christine, who’s not having it.

Pam and Dirk get into a fight. He hits his jealous boiling point and storms out of the room. After he leaves, Cornelius busts in on Pam and bounces the TV set off her then literally eats her pussy. I have no idea how close the gas station is to the motel, but it must not be far.

Jason is having sex with Carrie, but as he climaxes, She appears to pass out. Then she comes back, a sex zombie, and bites a chunk out of his face then his chin, which doesn’t matter cuz he’s already contracted the virus.

Outside, Freddy is coming to, with Dirk’s condom stuck to his forehead. Instead of getting up, he continues to masturbate until once again interrupted by the motel manager, who asks if he needs any help. He’s holding a Hefty bag that looks like it’s dripping blood so Freddy wisely bails.

Back in his room, it’s dark and Carrie is in bed, naked and asleep so he decides that now is a good time to have sex with her. She’s face down so he decides to go through the back door, but it’s closed. He goes down to try to lick it open, which works. So he fucks her, takes a break, and fucks her again. When he turns on the light, he sees it’s not Carrie, it’s Jason, and to make matters worse, Jason ain’t even alive, he dead! Freddy can’t pull his dick outta Jason’s puckered butt, he’s stuck. How’s that for a Freddy vs. Jason sequel? That’s when the gas station zombie woman shows up. She tries to choke him out before farting out some noxious gas so he stabs her with a broken lamp.

Outside, Christine can’t get her soda to come out of the machine so it’s Dirk to the rescue! She knows Dirk is Pam’s boyfriend, how does she know Pam? She and Dirk have a heart to heart. He offers his annual vending machine death statistic knowledge and the two hit it off. They talk about cats and dogs and he is probably now wishing he hadn’t had sex with Pam moments before, until they’re interrupted by a scream. It’s carrie, she went full-zombie, so Dirk gives her a left-cross and knocks her out, for a second. They bail to the car and wisely don’t warn the others because let’s face it, the others are pieces of shit, I don’t care if that is her cousin. They get in the car, but Carrie jumps onto the hood, which scares the keys right out of Dirk’s hand. Luckily, he has a gun. Bye Carrie. They take a brief moment to assess the situation when Cornelius shows up and rips Dirk outta the car. Just as Cornelius is about to butt-rape Dirk, Christine grabs the pistol and puts a halt to that crime.

Christine calls the cops while Dirk looks for his keys, which are somehow underneath the car even though he dropped them inside the car. When he lays down to reach for them Cornelius grabs him. Christine reaches for the gun, but Carrie is still alive. Dirk kicks Cornelius in the dick, repeatedly, and realizes that the only way to kill them is to destroy their genitals. He tells Christine to kick Carrie in the vaj. She does, but her foot gets stuck and she eventually loses her shoe as they retreat back to the motel room where Brooklyn is.

They fill Brooklyn in and a cop arrives. He knocks on Freddy’s door. Freddy takes too long to answer so the cop busts in. To make the cop uncomfortable, and hide all the blood, he pretends to be in bed with his gay lover. The cop eventually leaves and runs into Dirk, Christine, and Brooklyn. Cornelius sneaks up behind the cop, jerking off and as the cop turns around, Cornelius shoots an acidic ejaculation all over him.

Back in Freddy’s room, Jason awakens and tries to escape, despite Freddy’s dick still stuck in his ass. He inadvertently drags Freddy to the front door and breaks him in two as he walks through it. 

Carrie attacks the others. From the roof of the car, she grabs Brooklyn and tries to shove his head up her clam, which melts his face and kills him. 

Cornelius is back. Dirk and Christine run different directions leading Dirk back into his room where he finds Pam’s body. Then Carrie attacks. These fucken zombies don’t die! He stomps her head in, but her bloody vaj steers toward him and it has shark teeth! A giant tentacle shoots out of it and pulls his face closer, so he grabs his pistol, sticks it in, and pulls the trigger.

Outside, the mailman’s tentacle dick is attacking Christine so the motel manager hits him in the head with a shovel. Christine takes the shovel and uses it to cut off the mailman’s dick then hands the shovel back and he smacks her in the back of the head with it. 

Carrie is done, but now Pam is awake. Dirk shoots her, hopefully in the vaj, then washes up in the bathroom. When he comes out, he gets smacked in the face with a shovel.

Dirk and Christine wake up duct taped to tables and chairs in a Dexter kill room meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre dinner scene as we discover that the motel manager, the weird person in the mask from earlier, and some lady, are cannibals. Who the fuck is that lady? Apparently, they’re unaware of zombies as Cornelius saves the day. He kills the motel manager so Christine shoots him in the head, and then the dick. She and Dirk once again flee to the car.

In the car, they get attacked again by a male and female zombie. Is that Carrie again?! A tire iron falls from the sky that Dirk uses to kill his zombie and Christine uppercuts her’s in the pussy, then pulls something out. They escape and just when you think there’s gonna be a happy ending, they pull over and Christine starts to turn. Luckily, Dirk doesn’t have to kill her cuz she gets hit by a car, driven by the two dorks from the opening of the film. Dirk tells them he’s going down south to see his family, but they tell him it’s too late, that’s where they just came from. Then Dirk gets hit by a car, The End.

I fucking loved this movie! It kinda reminds me of what Feast was trying to do, but better. I started it one Sunday evening, while cooking my lunches for the week, cuz that’s what I do after I post my blog, I plan for my week. I wasn’t impressed and turned it off once my food was done, granted, I was only half paying attention. Which brings us to now, it’s April and I’m looking for some Spring Break flicks and look what pops up... So I start it again, and that’s where the rollercoaster begins. At first, it was stupid and cheezy, but after awhile I thought, “Maybe this B movie was done too well.” This film is actually pretty hardcore. It’s over the top, but doesn’t seem like it’s trying too hard. The gross is gross, and the raunch is raunchy, but the funny, is fucken hilarious. There are so many good one-liners, but it’s not slapstick. There’s some goofy shit, but the goofy countered by raunchy disgusting shit. This might be 2016’s best kept secret.

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The Gilligan Award goes to Cornelius, patient zero, for raping a corpse and starting this shit show in the first place.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) This seems like a no-brainer, don’t have sex with a corpse! But if you do, make sure it doesn’t have an STD.

2) Once you stab the culprit, don’t investigate. Either keep killing or get the fuck out!

3) If your girlfriend denies you sex, don’t wait for her to fall asleep and try again. But if you do, make sure it’s actually her before you start!


New Year'S Evil (1980)

Damien Ross

Emmett Alston

“You castrated me, and that is not nice.”

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K-ROCK FM DJ, Diane Sullivan, is hosting a New Year’s Eve event, Hollywood Hotline, and she’s running late. To make matters worse, her assistant, Yvonne, is nowhere to be found because she got killed in her hotel room by a guy hiding in the shower. Note: Yvonne, a black woman, is the first kill. I point that out just because it's a horror movie stereotype.

Diane’s son, Derek, arrives with roses. He tells her about the part he got in a new series, but she ignores him and then wonders what’s wrong with him as she heads out to the stage. Diane is pretty self-absorbed. 58 minutes to midnight and she is taking calls for the #1 New Wave hit of the year.

Phone Call #1: Diane answers, it’s a guy in a phone booth named Evil. He says he’s gonna kill someone at midnight, someone close to her. He’s gonna kill someone every time it turns midnight in each time zone. Cue the band. 13 minutes in and we get to hear the song New Year’s Evil for the second time, but Diane is actually scared by the call. Of course she is, she’s a narcissist, how dare something happen to her.

Elsewhere, a guy named Jeff sneaks into the Crawford Sanitarium. He runs into an orderly, or an intern... Nurse? Whatever the hell that position is called in a nuthouse, her name is Jane. He says he’s the backup help and talks her into a glass of champagne before clocking in. He even brought his boom box for some mood music.

The cops arrive at Diane’s request. They don’t take her seriously. They tell her if he calls again to try to keep him on the line a little longer so they can get a trace. She calls Derek, looking for Yvonne. He again has something important to tell her, but she has to go. She only has time for him if it has to do with her show.

Meanwhile, Jeff and Jane are hitting it off. Countdown to midnight as he pulls out his stilleto and brings in the the New Year!

Phone Call #2: Evil calls Diane back. Evil is Jeff. He recorded himself killing Jane and plays it for her. Shortly after, one of the other nurses(?) finds Jane’s body.

Derek is still in Diane’s hotel room and has the same style of knife as Jeff and he’s getting freaky with his mom’s nylons. I feel like this film is trying to set Derek up as the red herring despite the fact that they’ve already revealed who the killer is. He puts the nylons over his head and plucks the roses apart.

Jeff is now making a disguise, a fake mustache, as the cops tell Diane that a nurse’s corpse was discovered. Diane freaks out because now she is sure Yvonne is dead. On the bright side, at least the cops are now taking her seriously.

Jeff goes to a bar. He meets a blonde inside and tells her he’s on his way to Erik Estrada’s house for a New Year’s Eve party and she agrees to go with him, but to his surprise, she brings her roommate, Lisa. Coincidentally, back at the Hollywood Hotline, the band onstage is playing a song called Dumb Blondes.

The blonde Jeff picked up will not shut the hell up. Jeff is running late and they have to make a pit stop so Lisa can go to the bathroom. He sends her inside with a hundred dollar bill to get their biggest bottle of champagne, which gives him the opportunity to kill the loudmouthed blonde right at midnight, what timing!

Inside, the cashier counts Lisa’s change back, $95. Their biggest bottle of champagne cost five bucks? When she walks back outside, the car is gone, and all that is left is a high heel. Then another high heel that leads to a dumpster with blue fabric sticking out from under the lid. She lifts the lid, but it’s not loudmouth inside, it’s Jeff, and he pulls her in.

Phone Call #3: Jeff plays the recording of his latest killing and tells them where the body is. The cops find loudmouth propped up on a swing-set then find Lisa on the slide.

Jeff gets into a little fender bender with a motorcycle gang and drives away. He is now dressed as a priest. He drives over to the drive-in and the motorcycle gang follow him so he ditches the car. He kills one of the bikers then carjacks a couple who’re are getting it on. He kicks the guy out and drives off with the girl. Two drunk guys stagger into the middle of the road and for some reason he stops. The girl in the back escapes so now he’s after her on foot. The cops have found the car and Jeff has found the girl. But then the cops find Jeff and scare him off, saving the girl.

Back at the Hollywood Hotline, during a commercial break, one of the cops makes an announcement: Anybody who leaves will not be allowed back in. They also have a psychologist on the scene, Dr. Reed, who thinks the killer's final kill will be Diane. So far, Evil/Jeff has only killed one person close to Diane and even after the initial threat of him killing someone close to her every hour, she never arranged any security for her son, yet she’s really worried about Yvonne.

Jeff gets dropped off by a yellow pickup at the Hollywood Hotline hotel. He goes down to the parking garage where he lures a cop over and smashes him in the head with a brick. Now he has a police disguise, a gun, and walks right in. He changes his clothes again.

A cop walks Diane to her hotel room and nearly kills Derek once inside. She forgot he was in there, go figure, Mother of the Year over here! She sends the cop outside so she can change her clothes. Jeff walks in wearing a shitty mask. He takes it off and it turns out Jeff is actually Richard, Diane’s husband?! The two of them let the cop know he’s there and she identifies him, then sends Richard after Derek. The cop outside wants to know how Richard got in there.

The other cops just got a call identifying Richard’s car at the drive-in and that the driver killed a biker. Richard was also once a patient at the sanitarium... Dun dun dun!

A cop and Diane are in the elevator unaware that Richard has sabotaged it. When they hit bottom, Richard knocks out the cop then pulls out his boom box and plays one last killing for her. He is fed up and apparently hates women. He’s proud of Derek for getting a part in a series all on his own and he’s gonna take him to the Rosebowl.

The cops are looking for Diane. Richard chains her to the outer underside of the elevator and sends her up and then back down. I have no idea how he knows how to do this. The cops show up and there’s a shootout as Diane and the couple inside the elevator plummet to their deaths. Richard flees and winds up on the roof. A cop meets him out there and makes him put down his knife and gun. Richard jumps off the roof to his death. So much for the Rosebowl. Derek is sad. He stares at the mask Richard was wearing. Sequel? It’s been 38 years so I doubt it.

Diane is somehow still alive and put into an ambulance, but the driver is dead and Derek is behind the wheel. The End. We get to hear the New Year’s Evil song one last time as the credits roll.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Lock your hotel room door.

2) Don’t make out with dudes you just met in a mental institute.

3) Lock your car doors.

4) When fleeing a bad situation, don’t go up.

5) Don’t put your family on hold for your career.

Night Of The Demons (1988)

Damien Ross

Kevin S. Tenney

“Eat a bowl of fuck, I am here to party!”

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This film opens with the longest opening credits ever. I actually forgot for a second what movie I was about to watch, I thought I was about to watch a cartoon! Eventually, the credits dissolve and three teens are driving down the road on Halloween night. The car belongs to Stooge. Stooge is a combination of a stereotypical meathead jock and an obnoxious punk rocker. I’ve listened to reviews of this movie on Test Pattern and The Horror Show podcasts, but nothing quite prepares you for the real deal. I’m gonna have to listen to those again now that I’ve actually watched this.* That’s right folks, I’m a poser, this is the first time I’ve ever watched this. However, I did watch the remake on Netflix years ago before Netflix was cool.

Helen, AKA Bitch, is riding shotgun and Rodger is in the backseat. Stooge swaps seats with Helen so he can moon an old man, not a full moon, his boxers are still on. I miss the 80’s, when random old men were just out walking around, although this old man wasn’t so random, he was on his way home from the grocery store. Just then, Another teen comes up and scares him, causing him to drop his groceries all over the sidewalk. The teen disappears, which is when we meet Judy, who offers to help, but he chases her off. “Damn kids will get what they deserve!” He yells as he reaches into his pile of spilled bags and holds an apple and a pack of razorblades up in the air, WTF?

Judy goes home and Jay Calls. There’s been a change in plans. Instead of going to the dance, they’re gonna go to a Halloween party that a weird girl at school, Angela, is throwing. It’s not at her house though, it’s at the Hull House.

Sal, Judy’s ex, the same teen who scared the groceries out of the old man’s hands, shows up at Judy’s. Instead of Judy, he gets her little brother who was spying on her to tell him where the party is. Although he could beat Judy’s brother up, he instead does the noble thing and pays him for the information. Wouldn’t want ol’ mom to get involved.

Jay picks up Judy, who has changed her clothes for the second time. He tries to kiss her twice and gets shot down both times. She tells him to slow down. They pick up Frannie and Max.

Elsewhere, Stooge, Rodger, and Helen have a flat tire, thanks to Stooge’s shitty driving. Jay pulls up and as unlikely as it seems, they’re all friends. Jay stops, but instead of helping drives away, laughing and leaving them there.

Jay’s group arrive first, and Max explains that the Hull house was a funeral parlor owned by the Hull family until one Halloween one of them killed the whole family and then committed suicide. It appears they are being watched. They go inside and find a coffin. Sal pops out of it and scares them. How long was he in there? Stooge and everybody else arrive. It’s time to party! They all dance in the strobe light to lame music till the batteries die. Angela suggests they have a seance.

They hear a noise so Stooge and Rodger check it out. They find a big wardrobe mirror so they all look into it and concentrate until Helen sees a dead face. She freaks out and the wardrobe cabinet tips over shattering the mirror into pieces. They hear noises coming from the basement. It appears they have awoken a demon. It goes upstairs and enters Suzanne, who played Trash on Return of the Living Dead.

Angela explains the difference between a haunted house and a possessed house: A haunted house is a house with ghosts in it, the spirits of people who’ve died. The spirits in a house possessed have never existed in human form and are pure evil. Demons.

Suzanne is now acting completely different and nobody seems to question it. Rodger and Helen leave. Suzanne takes Stooge up to the bathroom cuz she’s in the mood for pork tonight, but first she kisses Angela on the mouth and let’s a little of the demon into her.

Jay, Judy, Max, and Frannie find a place to sit, drink, and talk as Max gives a history lesson. Max is full of all kinds of information, all hearsay-this is life before the internet: People talked and you believed whatever made sense to you. Nobody could prove shit. He starts in on a story about an Indian then takes Frannie and leaves Jay and Judy alone.

Outside, Rodger and Helen can’t find the gate to get out of there. While looking, he somehow loses her and now he’s on the run from creepy sounds. He climbs into Stooge’s car.

Back inside, Jay continues to pressure Judy into having sex. As she pushes him away, he mentions Sal, and that she had sex with him, but she claims they only went out once. She figures out that all he wants is sex so he bails.

Elsewhere, with a bathroom door between them, Stooge is trying to make things happen with Suzanne, unaware of what she is turning into.

Sal is alone with Angela, and he notices she’s being weird, although she had a reputation for being weird to begin with. She crawls on the floor and suddenly Stooge’s stereo comes back to life and plays Stigmata Martyr by Bauhaus. She proceeds to dance, which makes Sal very confused and uncomfortable. Stooge shows up. He fearlessly approaches Angela and slow dances with her. She wants a kiss and bites his tongue out. Sal leaves before the tongue incident and finds Suzanne. She has a lipstick heart drawn on her face and a shard of broken mirror in her hand, even possessed, still the narcissist. As dumb as Sal is, he does the smart thing, he leaves. Suzanne opens her shirt and draws on her tits with lipstick till Jay shows up.

On the way out, Sal passes Angela and tells her he’s “splittin.” She’s warming her hands on the fire and when she turns around her hands are charred, blistered, and on fire, yet she’s calm. Sal freaks out and bails.

Outside, Stooge’s corpse plummets onto his car, which freaks Rodger out. Inside, Jay is now about to get it on with Suzanne. She’s on top of him, but instead of getting laid she gives him demon face and gouges his eyes out with her thumbs.

Max and Frannie are having sex in a coffin, which is more uncomfortable than the back of a VW, when Stooge interrupts. Well, Stooge’s body, but he’s now a demon and he kills them. Personally, I found Stooge to be more tolerable as a demon, at least now he doesn't talk. Although, his talk was comical so it’s kind of a toss-up.

Sal and Rodger run into each other. Angela is lurking around the corner. They find Judy, who’s been locked in the room Jay left her in this whole time and Angela finds them. They escape and find Suzanne along with Jay’s corpse. I don’t know where the hell Rodger went. They escape Suzanne, but get separated. Judy finds herself in the sex-coffin room and gets attacked by Max’s severed arm. Then he and Frannie pop out as undead demons. She escapes and eventually finds Rodger... And Stooge!

Showdown on the rooftop: Judy comes out and runs into Angela, but Sal saves the day, kinda, he and Angela fall to their deaths. Judy is now hanging from the ledge as Rodger stands below trying to guide her to safety. Stooge jumps out and Judy falls, luckily, Rodger is in place to break it. Stooge jumps down so they runaway, but they run into Angela. They escape and hide. Rodger is crying. This is why he doesn’t hang out with white people. Judy finds a sketchy escape, she opens a door that leads to a tunnel that she is sure is the only way out. It turns out to be a crematorium. Stooge shows up. The demons don’t want Rodger, they want the girl. Damn racist demons!

Judy remembers what Helen said about the demons having one night where all Hell can break loose so if they can just keep them away until midnight, they’ll be okay. She builds a flamethrower(?) and when Stooge and Angela come in she lights them up then all the doors shut. They can’t get out. And now Jay is a demon. And all the undead demon friends enter so Rodger jumps out the window, which was actually on the same floor. Rodger scales the wall then reaches down for Judy’s hand, but then Stooge is back, along with the others. Rodger falls off onto the other side as the demons desperately claw at Judy, but Rodger climbs back up and saves her. They hit the ground and apparently it’s after midnight cuz the demon goes away. Judy and Rodger walk home and the old man from the intro heckles them. Whatever happened to Helen?

Inside the old man’s house: His wife made him a breakfast treat... Outta all the leftover apples he bought, the ones with the razorblades in them as he dies and we go full circle.

This may be looked back on as a classic 80’s horror flick, but I’ve only been aware of it for the last few years. Based on the quality of it, it definitely wasn’t some lost underground gem, so it confuses me how until recently I’d never heard of it. I watched the remake a few years ago and the title didn’t ring any bells. Sal’s backstory seemed unnecessary. Did we really need Sal to be Judy’s ex? It didn’t lead to anything. If you’re gonna include Sal as the ex who is still in love, how bout making him the one who saves her in the end? Intruder got it right.

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The Badass Award goes to Rodger, more for what he didn’t do than what he actually did. However, he defied the trope of black people being the first to die in a horror movie, he left as soon as things got weird, he risked his life to save Judy, and he was the most likeable guy in the whole movie as well as the last man standing rather than dying and making Judy the Final Girl. That's right, he stole Judy's thunder.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t conduct seances in old defunct funeral parlors.

2) Don’t have sex in a coffin.

3) When trying to escape a house, don’t go up!

4) Don’t put razorblades in apples.

5) Think with the right head.

*Joe from The Horror Show interviewed Linnea Quigley (Suzanne) on the October 15th episode.


Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

Damien Ross

George A. Romero

“They're coming to get you Barbara.”

Cause: A satellite that orbited Venus was purposely destroyed when scientists discovered it was carrying a mysteriously high level of radiation with it.

What year was this movie supposed to take place? I know there was color film in 1968, but this movie did not look like it took place the same year as Rosemary's Baby. I think it was B/W for the same reason as Psycho, but the whole setting looked old. Hard to believe Dawn of the Dead took place only days later.

Barbara and her brother Johnny are making their annual visit to put a wreath on their father's grave when they are confronted by a zombie. Barbara escapes and finds a seemingly abandoned house.
Soon, a black man, Ben shows up. I only mention him being black because I've heard this movie reflects civil rights.

Ben starts barricading the walls, nailing the windows and doors shut, and kills a couple of zombies along the way. He lights a dead zombie on fire out front, which backs the other zombies off, as if they sense danger.

These zombies look very human, which at first I attributed to bad make up and special effects, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized these zombies are still pretty new, why would they be all rotted and decayed? But then I thought about it more and remembered that most of these zombies are coming back to life from the nearby graveyard, so they should be pretty rotten.

Ben's not a very good listener. He tells his story about the diner, but when Barbara tells her story, he ignores her and gets back to work. He tells her to calm down and she slaps him so he decked her and knocked her ass out. That was not a slap.

It turns out, there's been a small group hiding out in the cellar this whole time. Harry Cooper and Tom come up the stairs. Harry bitches and argues with Ben the whole time, he thinks they should abandon the main floor and hide out in the cellar, which Ben thinks is a horrible idea and I agree. If the zombies get into the house and make way into the cellar you have nowhere to go. I didn't think of Harry as a racist though, I thought he was arguing because he was hardheaded.

They make a plan to sneak back to the gas pumps, but end up blowing the truck up with Tom and Judy inside, which sucked cuz they were the cool couple. When Ben gets back inside, Harry blames Ben for what happened so Ben basically whoops his ass.

The Cooper's daughter was sick in the cellar because she had been bitten before they found the house to take refuge in. Helen is in the cellar with her.

Harry wants a gun so he gets Ben's gun from him. Ben takes his gun back and realizes that after listening to Harry's complaining, then whooping his ass... He has to shoot him. So he does. Harry stumbles to the doorway of the cellar, to the safe place he wanted to be all along and falls down to the bottom of the stairs where his daughter proceeds to eat him. Horrified, Helen screams, reminding her daughter of her presence, and her daughter stabs her to death with a gardening tool. Yes, these original zombies could use crude weapons. Ironic it was that the Coopers met their fate in the one place they thought to be the safest and by the person they were trying to save.

On the main floor, the zombies have broken in. Barbara gets killed by her zombie brother (on that note, we could make the argument that this movie is a reflection of sibling rivalry) and Ben is forced into the cellar where he waits.

Days pass, and the noise upstairs gets quieter, so he surfaces. The zombie hunters are outside and see movement in the house: Ben. They shoot him dead.

It didn't seem like a metaphor for civil rights to me. You could say the cops shot an unarmed black man without question and that's true. Harry hated Ben from the beginning, because he was black? Maybe that's true, but this film wasn't preachy enough for me to think Romero was trying to make a social statement. To me it was a zombie movie.

The Badass Award goes to Ben, for being the man with the plan and getting things done. Ben was not afraid to throw down.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Locking yourself in the cellar should never be Plan A.

2) Be careful when playing with fire and gasoline.

3) Don't blow up radiated satellites in space.

 

Night Of The Creeps (1986)

Damien Ross

Fred Dekker

"Don't even think about it you little son of a bitch."

1959, aliens lose an experimental container out of their spaceship that looks like a comet as it falls to Earth. Johnny abandons his date in his convertible to go check it out, meanwhile, there is an escaped lunatic out and about. Let's just say it doesn't end well for either of them: Johnny gets a parasite and his date gets the ax.

Fast-forward to pledge week, 1986. This starts out as your typical 80's rom-com, but with parasitic slugs that infest and turn you into a zombie.

Chris has a crush on a girl, but she has a douchebag boyfriend they call "The Bradster." I'm not quite sure why stealing another guy's girl is considered romantic. Even if he is a douche, it's still a dick move. Also, if she's gonna dump him to get with you, how long till somebody better comes along that she dumps you for? And what if she still has feelings for Bradster so she goes back to him and breaks your heart even worse than if you never actually hooked up? Don't hook up with girls who are already involved with someone!

So anyway, Chris is depressed. Cynthia is the girl of his dreams. I'm not sure if he's been watching her for awhile or if this is the first time he's ever seen her, but he is definitely bummed. His best friend, J.C., talks him into joining a frat. She dates frat guys, how else is he gonna meet her? The frat is led by Bradster, and he tells them if they want to join they must dump a cadaver down the front steps. Cynthia seems like kind of a whore cuz Bradster is not even the initial guy we see her hanging out with.

After sneaking around, and just moments after receiving the request, they find Johnny the cadaver, cryogenically frozen, which is crazy cuz if it were me, I'd instead go home and stay up all night thinking up all kinds of plans to get her that wouldn't work. These guys pulled it off in the next scene! They set Johnny free, but he moves, which freaks them out so they run away. This is the same Johnny from 1959.

Johnny is on the loose and pays Cynthia a visit. Cameron shows up in a 1920's cop car, which I thought was kinda weird. Why'd he have such an old ass car? Nobody is hurt, but Cynthia saw Johnny's head explode revealing several intergalactic slugs flee.

The next day, in a group, Cynthia explains what happened and Bradster is such a dick that she rolls up a middle finger on him. That's right, the way you would roll up a car door window. She sides with Chris and J.C. so Bradster kicks J.C.'s crutch knocking him over. Did I mention J.C. is handicapped?

Cynthia and the guys go for a walk. She tells them about the cat that came back to life (she actually used the word zombie! Rare in a zombie flick), the exploding head, and the slugs.

J.C. wants to leave the two of them alone so he tells them he needs to use the bathroom, which he really does. I don't know why he didn't just go back to his dorm and use his own bathroom, especially since he was going #2. Inside the bathroom, he's scared, even though he really has no reason to be until he peeks out of the stall and sees the janitor's undead body on the ground. He discovers that fire kills the slugs, but then the slugs infest him.

Cynthia invites Chris to the Formal.

Chris runs into Detective Cameron and they have a drink. Does Tom Atkins always play a lush? The girl that got hacked up in the beginning of the movie was his high school sweetheart. He was the officer at the scene and somehow managed to get there while the lunatic was still hacking her up. He shot the lunatic with his 12-gauge and buried him where the sorority house is now.

Fast-forward to now, the lunatic comes back, through the floor and kills an old lady watching TV. Apparently, these slugs can reanimate 27 year old corpses. The police arrive at the scene. Cameron kills the lunatic, again, which releases a bunch of slugs that scatter, but nobody seems to notice.

Chris finds a tape from J.C. right before the dance letting him know that the slugs got him, heat kills them, and that he walked all by himself... But Chris isn't gonna let his best friend's death interfere with his Formal plans.

The Bradster shows up at Cynthia's drunk, holding a bottle of beer. He's trying to get her to come outside when a dog walks up. It's a zombie dog and shoots a slug into his mouth. Now Bradster is a zombie too.

Chris visits Cameron again to tell him about the tape and sets in place the ground rules for this film: They enter through your mouth, lay eggs in your brain, and then you walk around while they incubate.

A bus full of all the guys going to the Formal swerves to avoid hitting the zombie dog and crashes. Slugs eject from the zombie dog and reanimate everybody on the bus. Why were they riding a bus to the dance? The dance couldn't have been that far from the dorms so why was the bus going fast enough that swerving for a zombie dog would cause such a huge wreck?

Cameron obtains a flamethrower.

Bradster knocks on Cynthia's door. She is so preoccupied with breaking up with him she doesn't even notice he's a zombie. Before he can do anything, Cameron and Chris arrive to save the day. They take out the Bradster and then all the guys from the Formal bus show up.

It seems like there would be less risk of the slugs getting away if you just used the flamethrower instead of blowing their heads up first. I guess it looks cooler this way. Cynthia has the flamethrower and Chris has the gun when suddenly, Cameron and Chris start saying some really stupid shit before they kill zombies, like: "It's Miller time," "Later dude," and "Thrill me." Wtf?

There's a hive in the basement that Cameron sacrifices himself to blow up, but somehow he makes it out, smoking a cigarette. He collapses and the slugs flee to the Crestbridge Cemetery to set up the sequel that was never made.

The spaceship flies by looking for its little experiment.

The Badass Award goes to Detective Cameron. It was a tough call cuz Cynthia took the flamethrower with no questions asked and she was the first to know what was going on. But Cameron sacrificed himself, although he survived, which led to the redistribution of the slugs, he did have a higher kill rate... Maybe it is Cynthia, she did no harm except to the zombies... Shit, I dunno. Cameron kinda fucked em in the end.

The Gilligan Award definitely goes to Chris and J.C. for thawing out Johnny and starting this whole mess to begin with.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't leave your girlfriend in your convertible while you look for a comet, especially when there's an escaped lunatic running around.

2) Don't steal cadavers.

3) Don't swerve for animals in the road, especially undead ones. It never ends well.