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H

Hell High (1989)

Damien Ross

Douglas Grossman

“Football’s for queers.”

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A little girl named Brooke, wearing a ridiculous dress, carries a doll as she walks away from her house. VO threatens to spank her if she goes to the swamp. She sings as she walks her doll (Little Brooke) down a gravel road, to the swamp. She arrives at a rickety-ass clubhouse. Inside is a Raggedy-Anne doll.

Brooke hears the sound of a motorcycle so she leaves the clubhouse to hide, right outside? This actually turns out to be a good idea because the couple on the bike immediately go inside where the guy basically tries to rape the girl. On the plus side, we got boobage within the first 5 minutes of the film. On the minus side, we only get a few seconds cuz this guy is a fucken asshole and she rejects him. In his anger, he rips off Little Brooke’s head, all the while, Brooke is on the outside looking in, disgusted. Asshole calls his girl a “fucken bitch!” gets back on his bike, revs up the motor, then gets re-pissed cuz she’s taking too long to come out and get back on the bike.

Brooke shovels mud into a bucket as she watches them leave. They drive up the trail and doubleback. At this point, all we know is that this guy’s an asshole and Brooke is a kid as she comes around the blind corner. Just when you’re expecting her to get Pet Sematary’d by a motorcycle, she flings a garden shovel fulla mud into Asshole’s face causing him to crash, killing him and his girl by impalement. Kinda sad his girl had to die too, she didn’t do anything.

18 Years Later: A Biology classroom. The class is dissecting frogs and for some reason they think it’s hilarious. The teacher is visibly frustrated and the students are assholes so she slaps one of them (Mr. Dickens. Why do teachers stereotypically always call the students Mr. whatever their last name is when they don’t like them?) Just as the bell rings. She takes a drink of... Water?

The students exit class and Mr. Dickens is pissed. He recruits a newly retired football player (Jon-Jon, the Captain stole his girl) into his gang. Everyone thinks Jon-Jon is a coward.

Back in the classroom, as the Biology teacher picks the exams up off the floor, the football coach, Coach Heaton, pays her a visit. BTW, her name is Brooke, the same Brooke who killed the asshole and his girlfriend on the motorcycle 18 years ago. Not sure if that’s a spoiler or not, we didn’t have IMDb back in 1989 and she has the same name. He invites her to the game in a creepy way and gets denied.

After school in the parking lot, Jon-Jon sits with Mr. Dickens in his car drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels with the top down, Vanilla Ice style, as Smiler and Queenie pull up on a scooter. Mr. Dickens wants to go down to the swamp that night, but they all decline despite his claim that those murders are a myth. They make plans to go to the football game the following night instead.

Mr. Dickens and Jon-Jon follow Brooke home, though Jon-Jon is not on board. He wants to keep his A in Biology. They peep her in the shower till the phone rings. She gets outta the shower, still lathered up, and answers. It’s Coach Heaton. She changes her mind and agrees to go to the game. If you’re under the age of 40, you’re probably wondering why she would interrupt her shower to answer the phone. It was the 80’s man! If the phone rang and you didn’t answer it, you’d never know who called, unless they later called back and told you they called earlier, otherwise, calls just got lost in the ether. Ether, almost a Biology pun.

The next night, Jon-Jon drives his own car over to Queenie’s house. There’s an 80’s saxophone soft-porn score playing while she’s doing 80’s yoga. She flashes her tits and they go to the game.

On the way into the game, Mr. Dickens passes an injured player on a stretcher. He pulls out a large knife and offers to start the operation early till the paramedics show up. They look at the knife and don’t even bat an eye!

Mr. Dickens then meets up with the others. Despite being some kinda punk-anti-football-rebel, he still wears what looks like a team jacket. To stir things up, they hop into Mr. Dickens car and drive onto the field in the middle of a play. Jon-Jon completes an interception from the passenger seat. A couple of cookies later, they drive away with the game ball. Who wrote this shit? Mr. Dickens is still bent on going to the swamp. He has a plan.

Coach Heaton takes Brooke home, but she won’t let him in, shot down again!

The gang arrive at the swamp. They gather mud into bags? Jon-Jon starts to hook up with Queenie till Mr. Dickens interrupts. Annoyed, they put the bags into the car.

Apparently, Brooke still lives in the same house from the opening of the film. The plan is to scare her. She's in her house grading papers on a Friday night after the game. Isn’t that how we view teachers? She teaches and grades and occasionally goes to school events... She’s not a human, she’s a red-penned machine. They sneak up to her house with masks on. Like Halloween masks, not robber masks, and start banging on the house and splattering swamp mud slime. Brooke comes out and gets a face full, the same slime she used to kill that couple 18 years ago. A car pulls up, it’s her teacher friend (Coach Hamm) and the gang scatter. Hamm takes care of her as the gang get back into their car, but where is Mr. Dickens?

Coach Hamm leaves Brooke alone in bed and Mr. Dickens sneaks in. He goes to her room where she lay paralyzed. He basically tries to rape her until Queenie walks in. She pushes him away, then she continues where he left off. Did Coach Hamm drug her? Jon-Jon interrupts, which leads to a fight between he and Mr. Dickens. Brooke comes to in the middle of it and jumps out the window. They’re on the second floor!

Assuming she’s dead, they bail. Dickens feels no remorse. He convinces the gang that they need to get something that belongs to the quarterback to plant at the scene to get themselves off the hook. They send Jon-Jon to the cafe where Quarterback hangs out after games. He steals Quarteback's jacket, slashes his tire, then speeds off. The football team hear him and immediately follow.

Back at the house: Brooke’s eyes open, dun dun dun!

The gang is waiting for Jon-Jon at Brooke’s house. They get into a big fight and Queenie goes outside where she hears a voice. It’s Brooke. “Help me...” Queenie tries to help, but instead is met by a brick to her head, multiple times.

Meanwhile: Jon-Jon can’t go back to the house because he’s got the football team following him! He’s actually innocent, this would be a good time to stop and turn himself in especially considering his concern about his future. But no.

Smiler and Mr. Dickens wait in the house as Smiler worries.

Jon-Jon arrives at the house. He hears Brook’s voice and follows thinking it’s Queenie, which leads him to Queenie’s corpse, then Brooke offs him.

Smiler has all he can take so he leaves the house and sees Mr. Dickens’ car. Jon-Jon made it! Nope. Brooke stalks. He goes back into the house to tell Mr. Dickens. Suddenly, he doesn’t feel so good so he goes upstairs to the bathroom and gets stabbed through the temple with a pencil. Brooke then runs down the stairs and stabs Mr. Dickens with a butcher knife, pinning him to the wall.

Outside: Jon-Jon is still alive. He gets up, confused.

Inside: Brooke has Mr. Dickens strung up to the wall and is planning to dissect him. She thinks he’s the asshole from the opening she killed for hurting her doll. Jon-Jon comes to the rescue. He tackles Brooke into a table and frees Mr. Dickens. But Dickens is freaking out. The myth is true, she killed the two teenagers down at the swamp! He leaps over the couch with the knife that previously pinned him to the wall. He lands on Brooke with the the knife in her throat, but gets impaled with a fire poker for his efforts. Jon-Jon lays Quarterback’s jacket over their bodies and leaves.

When Jon-Jon gets home he stares at the static on the tv. He’s bummed. He’s lost all of his good friends he met yesterday.

Next day: There’s a substitute teacher in Biology. Jon-Jon stares out the window and sees the cops roll up. They burst into the classroom and handcuff Quarterback who says, “What’re ya doin, I’m on the football team!” They take him away and Jon-Jon is off the hook and got revenge on the guy who stole his girl at the same time. The substitute gets in his face to get his attention, but he just stares out the window until finally he turns, looks at her, and lets out a long scream that lasts a long minute. The End.

Afterthought: I don’t know that I’d categorize this as a Slasher considering the killer only killed three people: Two on accident and one in self-defense. I loved how 1989 this film was, but other than that, not much there. There was a bunch of shit happening that flows while you’re watching it, but afterwards it doesn’t really make any sense. It was pointless escalation after pointless escalation from characters you couldn’t identify with because they were so cliche and bland. Eventually, you identify with Jon-Jon by default. You sympathize with him because he got cut from the football team, Quarterback stole his girl, everyone thinks he’s a coward, his new love interest gets killed, he’s the last alive out of all of his new friends, his tv doesn’t work correctly....

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So the Badass Award goes to Jon-Jon. He saved Mr. Dickens, although Dickens died shortly after anyway. Jon-Jon didn’t really do much, but he was the only character who wasn’t a piece of shit, despite framing Quarterback for murder.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Never fuck with a little girl’s doll.

2) Don’t slap your students.

3) Don’t do pranks based on urban legends.

Home Sweet Home (1981)

Damien Ross

Nettie Pena

“She won’t drink anything, she hates going to the bathroom.”

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This film opens with a Grand Theft Auto type carjacking. Jay Jones, a mental patient committed eight years ago, has escaped. He is considered armed and dangerous and may be on PCP. He is... Heading home?

An old lady crossing the street drops her groceries. She bends over to pick them up when here comes Jay in his stolen car. He runs her down in Austin Powers bulldozer scene fashion. There’s now blood on the hood and the windshield of the car.

Elsewhere, a couple, Scott and Jennifer, are driving in his convertible. They soon arrive at a house. On the otherside of the house is a teen, wearing Kiss face paint, playing guitar until his dad, Harold Bradley, throws a beer at him and tells him to turn that goddamned thing off. Harold goes back inside to grab a new beer. His kid is driving him to drink and perhaps do drugs. His wife, Gail, tells him to relax, but otherwise finds his behavior perfectly normal.

Jay arrives nearby, blood still on his windshield and hood. Next time steal a car with working windshield wipers or maybe a darker car.

Harold and Gail start getting it on in the bedroom while Scott and Jennifer get it on outside until the guitar wielding, Mistake, interrupts. The character’s name is actually Mistake Bradley! What am I watching? Scott chases Mistake back into the house while Harold and Gail continue to get it on. Everyone wants to kill that cockblocking little guitar player!

Later, Gail and Linda take Scott’s convertible to go get some wine. Jay watches them pass. Jay laughs a lot. He’s played by Jake Steinfeld, the lead from Big Brother Jake, that old 90’s sitcom, you know, the Body By Jake guy. He follows them accompanied by creepy music, which doesn’t really work in the daylight, but from here on out, I will be referring to him as BBJ, which works whether your a Body By Jake guy or a Big Brother Jake guy.

Harold was left in charge of cooking the peas while the girls went out for wine, but he can’t find them. He had one job... And now the TV is out, but there’s a generator. It’ll bring the lights back on, but not the TV, and the game is on! Wayne is pissed. Harold goes outside to check the generator. He gets it going and then acts paranoid as he goes back into the house.

It’s almost dark, and the generator is only good for three or four hours so Harold heads into town to get more gas. I don’t know what he really did cuz it looked like he bought gas, but on the way back home he finds BBJ’s stolen station wagon and sifins more gas, and now his battery is dead. Karma? He gets under the hood of the station wagon to steal the battery when with a Rebel Yell, BBJ drops the People’s Elbow onto the hood, crushing Harold. BBJ then prowls the house.

Cockblocker, I mean Mistake, strikes again. Now he’s doing magic tricks and plays guitar for his little sister, Angel, while being watched through the window. See, he’s not all bad.

Now it is officially dark. Linda and Gail are still out hunting for wine. Scott’s gas gauge doesn’t work, despite it being a brand new convertible. There’s something wrong with every car in this movie!

Wayne, the guy who just wanted to watch the game, goes to the gas station to check on Harold, but BBJ is in his backseat. Bye Wayne.

Scott takes Jennifer over to his apartment, which is on the premises. He gives her the tour, then tries to take care of unfinished business.

Two cops pull Gail and Linda over. The driver side cop approaches, keeping his flashlight on Gail’s cleavage, in case one of her tits tries to make a move. Instead of a speeding ticket, he lets them off with a warning. Now the car won’t start. They walk from here. As they walk, they stumble upon Wayne’s car and then BBJ finds them. He bodyslams Linda onto the trunk of the car, she rolls off and cracks her skull on a rock. Gail escapes and he stalks her, laughing and giggling, then just breathing hard. He catches her and punches her to death while giggling again.

Back at the house, the remaining five have given up on the others and started eating. While serving Maria, Mistake accidentally spills food on her so he takes her up to the bathroom to clean her up. Maria takes her shirt off in the bathroom and washes up while Mistake looks for a shirt to loan her. BBJ is watching through the window. How much food did he spill on her?

Maria looks into the shower and finds the corpse of a woman, Gail or Linda? How’d he get her over there so quick? She’s about to scream when BBJ snatches her from behind and puts a knife to her throat. Mistake walks in, “Make a sound and I’ll kill her.” BBJ leads her around the yard while Mistake proceeds to “make a sound,” pleading with BBJ not to hurt her so BBJ offers philosophical advice: “Women are no good, they’ll only cause you problems man... My mother was no good!” Then he kills Maria and chases Mistake and his guitar. Mistake loses him and hides. At this point we learn that Mistake can be quiet, but BBJ catches him and kills him anyway. I think he electrocuted him, but the picture quality is so bad I couldn’t tell how.

Back in the dining room, we’re down to Scott, Jennifer, and Angel... Oh, and a generator that’s about to go out. Scott goes to check it and finds Maria’s corpse. Not much of a reaction at first, then he starts screaming like a bitch. He goes back to Jennifer and they assume Mistake is the killer. Jennifer takes Angel to the bathroom. The toilet flushes and they meet back up with Scott in the kitchen. Scott is looking for potential weapons. They make camp in the dining room, then Scott leaves them to go check another room. Nothing. Next is the pantry for some candles. No luck and the generator is out.

Now Scott feels guilty for bringing Jennifer here. They hear the creak of a door, but they have no idea what it is. Scott goes to check it out. Scott returns again. Jennifer purposes a new idea: What if Mistake didn’t kill Maria? What if it is someone else?

Angel has to pee again. Scott’s going to take her this time, because Scott’s hobbies include: Leaving the room every fucking chance he gets, he’s just begging to be killed. On the way, BBJ grabs him by his throat and it’s Jennifer to the rescue with a fire poker. He shoves her off, but she’s back again with his knife and stabs him in the back. Scott and Jennifer escape, leaving Angel behind in the bathroom so Scott goes back for her. BBJ pulls him through the window of a door and slits his throat. Jennifer basically says “Fuck Angel” and makes a run for it. Let the creepy music begin. BBJ follows, knife in back, but still giggling. Maybe BBJ grew up to be Dr. Giggles?

In the morning, the previous two cops find Gail or Linda’s body, I couldn’t tell which, whoever is not in the shower. Meanwhile, Jennifer is making her escape as she passes two wine bottles that would have made perfectly good weapons. She gets outside by the garage when BBJ finds her and shoves her down, knife still in his back, another in his hand. The cops show up and shoot BBJ in time to save her. The End.

So this film was a shit show, but a great unintentional comedy. Reading up on it, the synopsis built up a Thanksgiving theme, which would explain everyone getting together and helping to make a meal while a football game is on TV... And even though the title suggests that the escape lunatic has some sort of tie to the family, there is never a tie in. They must have been too busy with the special effects. This was made during the era of capitalizing on holiday slashers, so they kinda dropped the ball by not being a little more obvious with the Thanksgiving angle. Throwing Thanksgiving into the title would’ve made it even weirder though. The characters were awkward and it didn’t feel like they were in any way related, it kinda felt like it took place at a halfway house. I assumed that by the end, there’d be some kind of reveal, cuz it wasn’t like BBJ was wearing a mask or costume, he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and giggling the whole time. Why did he go out of his way to go there? He even mentioned that his mother was no good, but nobody there was even related to him! No woman in this whole film was even old enough to be his mother. Nobody ever recognized him, hell, none of the characters in the film had even heard the news bulletin on the radio that he’d escaped. He coulda just kept escaping. We’ll never know BBJ’s true intentions.

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The Badass Award goes to the cops. Despite being douchebags, they actually saved the day, making them the most useful cops I’ve ever seen in a horror film! Granted, they were tipped off by a six year old who escaped the house and tracked them down in the middle of the night... But nevertheless, it’s time horror movie cops get their due!

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t offer beer to strangers.

2) Don’t ransack seemingly abandoned cars for parts.

3) Check the backseat of your car before driving at night... I know, I say this all the time.

Happy Death Day (2017)

Damien Ross

Christopher Landon

“Would you please stop staring at me like I took a dump on your mom’s head?”

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Tree wakes up in Carter’s dorm room after a night of partying. Tree is a girl. She takes the walk of shame and runs into Tim, who she had one date with (at Subway). He can tell by her morning attire why she hasn’t returned his texts. Today is Tree’s birthday. While she doesn’t want any of her sorority sisters to find out about Carter, she also doesn’t want anyone to know it’s her birthday even though her ringtone sings, “Hey, it’s my birthday.”

Her roommate Lori is suspect #1, fueled by the rejection of her cupcake and it’s weird that she figured out Tree’s birthday by looking at her driver’s license. She runs into Lori once again on her way to Dr. Gregory Butler’s office in what appears to be a pregnancy or STD check, but she instead makes out with him until his wife knocks on the door. That makes three dudes she’s fucking around with within the first ten minutes of the film.

There’s another party tonight. She walks alone and along the way listens to a message from her dad whom she stood up at a restaurant that morning. She finds a music box on the street and is then confronted by a man wearing a one toothed baby mask. The masked man has a knife and kills her. She wakes up. She’s back in Carter’s dorm and we are back at the beginning of the movie and the first 15 minutes are happening all over again, like Groundhog Day. Another example of too much action at the beginning of a horror film leads to either a jump forward or a jump backward in time.

Even though she has already lived this day, she still goes to Dr. Gregory’s office at the same time knowing that his wife will interrupt, then once again walks to the party alone. At least this time when she sees the music box she turns around and goes a different way, however when she saw the music box she said, “No way.” The entire day has been an exact replica of the day before, yet somehow the music box is the shocker.

Tree gets to the party house. It is silent and dark, no party noises. The babyfaced man pops up again and she drops him with a right hook. The lights go on. He’s not the killer, he’s Nick, and it’s her surprise party. Sorority sister, Danielle, has a thing for Nick, but Nick has a thing for Tree. Tree follows him upstairs. She goes into his room, but he’s not there. The babyfaced killer appears, but it’s just Nick again. Nick has some serious eyebrows... And dance moves. The babyface mask is worn by several frat boys. Nick’s music is blaring as Tree responds to Danielle’s text. Her back is to Nick while the real killer kills Nick. As the killer is about to kill her with the stem of a broken bong, she wakes up again. Back to the beginning, in Carter’s dorm room, only this time she’s freaking out.

Today, instead of going to the party, she’s going to stay home. She boards up her windows and barricades the door. She opens a birthday card with a picture of that same babyface inside. Handwritten at the bottom reads, “Enjoy today... Because there’s no tomorrow.” Her mom died on her birthday three years prior. They share the same birthday. Somehow, the babyface killer gets into her room and as he is about to kill her, she wakes up again. Back in Carter’s dorm, this time frantically screaming and she doesn’t bother to change her clothes as she leaves. Carter catches up to her with her shoes and shirt. She confides in him and he tries to figure out why she is stuck in this day. Turns out, Carter didn’t take advantage of her while she was drunk, he slept on his roommate’s bed. He’s actually a decent guy. As Carter jots down suspects, Tree inadvertently reveals what a horrible person she is. They agree on one thing: If she can either solve her murder or prevent it from happening, she can wake up tomorrow instead of today.

She goes out that night (alone) to see what the suspects are up to and catches Tim about to masturbate to gay porn. Then the killer gets her as we kick off the Groundhog Day montage to speed things up. This is turning into the worst hangover ever. Back in Carter’s dorm, she wakes up and collapses as she tries to leave then wakes up in a hospital room. Dr. Gregory shows up and apparently the trauma she takes from each death stays with her even though she can’t feel it. He goes to get her a drink and she bails. While looking for car keys in Dr. Gregory’s office, she finds a one toothed baby mask under his desk... Dun Dun Dun! Dr. Gregory finds her, and the killer kills him thus scratching his name off the suspect list.

Sarah escapes in Dr. Gregory’s car, it’s gotta be hard to see with a big ol’ baby mask on your head. Just when she thinks she’s beat the game she gets pulled over. She decides to get herself arrested, but after being handcuffed and put in the back of the police car, the cop gets hit by an oncoming car. It’s the killer. Now she’s helpless, trapped in the backseat of the police car. The killer sideswiped the police car as he hit the cop. He walks over to Tree, then goes back into his car. The cop car is leaking gas so ol’ babyface drops a candle that looks suspiciously like the one in the cupcake Lori made, and blows her up.

These mornings must be getting very weird for Carter. She once again convinces Carter that she is reliving the same day over and over. They go to a diner. As she relives the same day over and over, she begins to see what a horrible person she is. She also feels weaker each time she wakes up. There’s a news report on the TV at the diner about murderer, John Tombs, who is recuperating at the Bakersfield University Hospital from a gunshot wound this whole time! She goes to his room, but it’s too late. The cop watching his room is already dead and John has his gun. He’s about to kill her when Carter comes to the rescue! But Carter gets killed so here’s the moral dilemma: Kill John and Carter stays dead, but she can move forward. Or die, and Carter comes back, but Tree doesn’t know how many more times she can come back. John chases her up the bell tower and she hangs herself.

She wakes up, this time happy to see Carter and may even be developing a little crush on him. Reliving the same day has revealed what a good person he is. She leaves the dorm with a dip in her hip. She knows what she has to do, she’s going to end this once and for all. When she gets home she apologizes to Lori for being such a shitty roommate. She ends it with Dr. Gregory who handles it very immaturely, especially for a grown man who is supposed to be smart. Next, she goes to the restaurant to meet her dad. She apologizes for shutting him out since mom died and tells him she loves him, then gets ready for the showdown.

At the hospital, she gets the guard cop’s gun and goes inside John’s room, but the safety is on as she pulls the trigger so he knocks the gun out of her hand and takes her knife from her. As he is about to kill her, her timer goes off warning her that the lights are about to go out. The lights go out and she moves, grabs the gun and kills him. It’s over.

Afterward, she has her date with Carter and finally eats the cupcake that Lori made earlier then wakes up in Carter’s room. It’s not over. She goes home and decides she’s just gonna leave town when Lori offers her the birthday cupcake and she figures it all out: She died in her sleep last night. Lori poisoned the cupcake that she had previously never eaten. Lori works at the hospital and has a crush on Dr. Gregory so she arranged the escape of John Tomb and provided him with the knife, mask, and a hoodie thinking that after Tree died they would assume he did it. Haha! Suspect #1, I was fucking right, BOOM! She kills Lori and is finally free!

At the diner she sits with Carter and after she fills him in he tells her it kinda reminds him of the movie Groundhog Day. Props to this film for mentioning Groundhog Day.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Tree for never backing down and always doing the right thing as the story progressed. Also, her growth as she went from a bitchy sorority girl to a hero. It’s rare that you get to see a female lead grow into a strong female lead on film. They usually either start out that way or they just aren’t.

So here is the deep thought after watching this film: Every morning you wake up knowing that nothing you say matters because the next day everything will be just as it was when you woke up the previous day. No one listens, no one remembers, the loneliness forces you inward, forced to look at yourself and all your ugly flaws and once you find that you are all alone you have no choice but to transform yourself into someone you can live with.

I actually really liked this movie. I went in deliberately not knowing anything about it. It doesn't really have a horror movie vibe, not a lot of kills, no gore, and it’s not scary. It kinda starts to feel like a feelgood movie, but every time you start to feel good, that feeling is ripped away as she wakes up in Carter’s dorm again. You go from hating Tree to loving her. What kinda name is Tree for person anyway? I was initially hoping to see a slasher kill all of these sorority girls except, ironically, Lori, as she was the only one who didn’t seem to have her head up her ass. Too bad this film didn’t get more attention, but maybe that’s because it’s hard to categorize and trailers would just ruin it. I think the less you know going in, the better. Granted, they never explain why she keeps reliving the same day over and over. It’s kinda like a Choose Your Own Adventure book or a video game where once you die, you have to start all over at the beginning of that level.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t walk to parties alone at night.

2) Don’t try to take the elevator when escaping a killer.

3) Be a good person.

 

 

Hush (2016)

Damien Ross

Mike Flanagan

"I can come in anytime I want. And I can get you, anytime I want. But I'm not going to. Not until it's time. When you wish you're dead... that's when I'll come inside."

Maddie is a novelist living in a remote cabin, but not your typical horror movie "cabin in the woods" setup. Her isolated cabin is nicer on the inside than my house and she has at least one neighbor, Sarah. She is working on the ending of her latest novel, but can't quite seem to pin in down. She's narrowed it down to seven choices.

Sarah stops by to return a copy of Maddie's last novel and to fill us in on Maddie's back story: Due to bacterial meningitis, Maddie has been deaf and mute since the age of 13.

After Sarah leaves, Maddie gets a text from Craig, which she ignores. She walks by a picture of her and maybe an ex-husband, but when she skypes Craig back, before hanging up, it's obviously not him in the picture because Craig is black and the guy in the picture is white. She doesn't answer when he calls back.

Maddie cleans up her kitchen while behind her, outside, Sarah is brutally murdered by a masked man. The masked man notices Maddie not reacting, then taps on the glass and figures out that she can't hear.

While once again attacking the ending of her current novel, Maddie gets a call from another friend. They talk for awhile and her friend notices a movement in the background, but Maddie assures her it's probably just her cat. After wrapping up the call she begins to receive text message pictures of herself at various angles in real time. She notices her door is not shut all the way. When she walks over to close the door, instead of a game of cat and mouse, the masked man is standing in plain sight just outside the door. She quickly slams and locks the door, then the next, then the next. The doors are 80% glass, but yay for now.

She writes a message on the glass with lipstick stating that she hadn't seen his face yet so he could still walk away at this point. That's something you say to someone you know is guilty of something, but she doesn't even know that he killed Sarah yet. He responds by taking his mask off so as the viewer I wondered: Was he the white guy in the picture? He's definitely not Craig, but then he didn't know she was deaf, so he obviously doesn't know her at all and all plot-twist bets are off.

He walks away and cuts off the power to the cabin/wifi and slashes her tires, which made me wonder: How far can you drive on rims if you weren't at all worried about future costs?

Maddie runs to a different room and sees Sarah pounding on the glass, but it's actually the killer using her as a puppet. At this moment is when she finds out that Sarah is dead and realizes the degree of danger she is in.

She hits the panic button on the car's key lock to create a diversion while she doubles back to grab Sarah's phone. The killer catches on and meets her back over there so she stabs him in the arm.

She sneaks up onto the roof, but he realizes she's up there so he shoots her in the leg. When he climbs up she knocks him down, but keeps his crossbow, which she has no idea how to use.

At this point, maybe it's time to break away from the movie synopsis. There's no real moral to the story other than that it would suck to be deaf. The ailment that forced her into seclusion is the very same reason she can't be alone.

There are two reoccurring questions that ring throughout the film, one more obvious than the other: A) How to find the perfect ending, and B) Who the fuck is this guy? The “who the fuck is this guy” is the scariest, because why is he doing this? A moral of a story usually has to do with karma: When you're shitty to people, the shit will find its way back to you. Maddie wasn't shitty to anybody, the shit just showed up on her doorstep. We never find out who this guy is, he's just some dude.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Maddie for persevering and overcoming her handicap while also at times using it to her advantage to finally take out the killer.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Answer your phone. If she'd have answered her phone when Craig called that last time, he would have known what was up.

2) If you're gonna live alone in the middle of nowhere you should probably own a gun.

3) If a guy doesn't obviously look like a cop, ask for some identification.

Human Centipede (1-2)

Damien Ross

Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

Tom Six

First of all, learn how to fix a flat tire, but if you don't and you're in a rental, just drive on the flat till you get somewhere where you can be helped. Second, if you go into the house of someone who looks like Dr. Heiter, don't eat or drink anything, in fact, don't go in! That being said, this could be the most horrific movie I have ever seen. There's not even good news for the characters if they do escape! No matter how much this movie is described to you before you see it, even though the movie itself is not even that graphic, nothing can prepare you for the actuality of it, but it would have been better had Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian played the leads. I could watch them eat shit all day.

Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)

Tom Six

In this sequel, the original is just a movie and Martin is just a homely loser who is obsessed with it to the point that he decides to make his own human centipede using 12 people instead of only three. He lives with his mom and brother(?) and at night works the security surveillance of a parking garage where he brutally kidnaps his victims. DR Heiter was much more gentle.

Once he captured his 12 victims, including Miss Yenni, the actress from the original he tricked into coming out under the guise of a Tarantino audition, he began hooking them together ass to mouth with a staple gun and duct tape. Once they began to shit, they started separating, ripping their mouths from the ass in front of them to which Martin shot them one by one until he got to Miss Yenni who wins the Badass Bitch Award for hitting him in the balls and then forcing his pet centipede up his ass through the feeding tube.

This movie was much tougher to get through than the original. I don't know if being filmed in b/w helped or hindered, but the knee surgery looked pretty gross along with the hammer to the teeth. The worst thing Martin did though, was run around most of this movie half-naked. As I write this, they are working on Human Centipede III. Why?

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Avoid creepy looking men in parking garages at night.

2) Don't let homely creepy fat men watch horror movies.

 

The Howling (1981)

Damien Ross

Joe Dante

"Silver bullets or fire, that's the only way to get rid of the damn things. They're worse than cockroaches." 

I love Joe Dante, but I really had no idea what was going on for the first 15 minutes or so of this movie. Karen White is a news lady. After witnessing the murder of a serial killer in a sting operation, her psychiatrist recommends she go to his cabin at the mountain for a retreat. Karen and her husband Bill go, but the retreat is not what it seems.

Chris and Terry, the werewolf hunter characters, came out of nowhere at a bookstore, which was a clever way for the bookstore owner to lay out the werewolf ground rules for this film, "The full moon is all Hollywood bullshit. They can change whenever they want, that's why they're called shape shifters."

Karen's husband, Bill, shoots a rabbit he has no intention of eating till Marsha the nympho's brother tells him his sister can cook it up for him. Was the last half of that sentence confusing? Knowing she's a nympho and he's a vegetarian, he decides it's a good idea to have her cook it up for him then acts surprised when she makes a move on him. What is it about infidelity and dead rabbits?

Long story short, Bill gets bitten so Karen calls her werewolf hunting buddies. Terry shows up and we see what a shitty vegetarian Bill is. Or, is his new found desire to eat meat a symptom of the werewolf bite? That and cheating, because not long after that he finally caves in with Marsha and when Karen confronts him about the new scratches on his back he slaps the shit out of her.

A werewolf slaps the shit out of Terry and she survives one out of two attacks, leaving Karen all alone in a werewolf cult that the psychiatrist is part of.

The Badass Award goes to Chris Halloran for showing up with silver bullets, then trapping the werewolves in the barn and lighting it on fire. Not to mention all the Adam Sandler movies he would go on to direct. Unfortunately, he could not save Karen from being bitten.

Karen decides to make the world aware of the werewolf epidemic by transforming on a live news broadcast. Chris shoots her in the head.

Is it possible to be a werewolf and not be an asshole? I don't mean while you are a werewolf, but when you're just you? Because these people chose when to become werewolves and they did it because they were assholes. So could Karen have just continued to be a decent person and not transform?

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't hook up with nymphos you meet at psycho-therapy retreats.

2) If you find a dead body, get the fuck out of there.

3) Don't sit and watch an entire werewolf transformation before deciding to run.

Housebound (2014)

Damien Ross

Gerard Johnstone

"Maybe you should try being on your own for awhile and see how quick you are to snub your nose at a good deal."

So this is probably the best horror film I've seen in awhile, despite how long I've been putting it off. It kinda has it all. It's starts off as an action heist, then a ghost story, a mystery, then it makes you laugh without turning into a spoof or parody. The story does a smooth job developing as you get deeper and closer to the actual plot to find out what is really going on.

Kylie gets busted robbing an ATM machine. She is sentenced to house arrest at her parent's house. She overhears her mom on the radio talking about paranormal activity in the house.

Kylie and her mom don't have a good relationship. Her parents divorced shortly after buying this house when she was a little girl. Her mom eventually got remarried to Graeme, which probably contributed to the poor relationship between Kylie and her mom. Absent father, then the mother is absent while looking for a new man till she finds Graeme, who Kylie never really had a relationship with (which statistically sets her up for a life of crime, drugs, alcohol, and resentment). Until now, when Graeme slips bits of the truth about how her mom and dad really got the house for so cheap. The house used to be a home for troubled teens until a girl was stabbed to death.

The characters are what make this movie. Even though the story line is good, caring for the characters helps move it along. It's important, especially in a horror movie, to feel an attachment to the characters. Either you love them and root for them or you hate them and root against them. If you're indifferent the movie fails. In this case, Kylie grows on you and the parents hit a soft spot because they're so stereotypically out of touch that you feel for them, but Amos really stole it for me.

Amos is the guy who has to check on things when Kylie's ankle alarm goes off and coincidentally lives down the street. In his spare time, he is also a ghost hunter. Amos provides comic relief without taking away from the overall creepy vibe of the movie.

The neighbor is creepy and introduced early, he is murder suspect number one. Then there's Eugene, the friend of the murdered girl who disappeared shortly after the murder. Then there's the psychiatrist who it turned out was practicing at the scene.

Even though I loved this movie, I still have some questions, like, was Dennis (the psychiatrist) planning to kill Kylie all along? He went from 0 to 10 pretty damn fast. The movie covered all of its bases pretty well, but it still seems like you would either figure out that there was a guy secretly living in your house or you'd get the fuck out because you think the place is haunted. That being said, Kylie's parents did seem simple and naive enough to just accept things. They weren't go-getters or proactive or even reactive by any means so the story still works.

Badass Bitch Award goes to Kylie for being the opposite of her mom, ready to fight at any moment. She was ready to get to the bottom of things at any cost, granted, she was on house arrest, bored out of her mind, and didn't really seem to have anything else going on in her life.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't hit an ATM machine with a sledgehammer.

2) Don't try to escape the killer by going to the roof.

3) Don't break into people's houses, especially if you suspect they are murderers.

 

House On Sorority Row (1983)

Damien Ross

Mark Rosman

"My water bed got slashed to shreds and all you can do is joke about it. I swear she was trying to kill me."

The film opens on June 19th, 1961, Mrs. Slater loses her baby. Then we jump to present day. The girls are graduating law school and Mrs. Slater is the bitchy kidless House Mother. The girls want to have a graduation party, but Mrs. Slater always closes the house on June 19th.

Earlier we saw Vicki learning to shoot a gun, next we see Mrs. Slater catching her having sex. She pops the waterbed with her cane.

Dr. Beck is the same doctor who delivered Mrs. Slater's stillborn baby, or whatever happened to it, and now thinks she is losing her mind.

The girls devise a plan to play a prank on Mrs. Slater to teach her a lesson. It was Vicki's idea. They put Mrs. Slater's cane on a tire in the pool and pull a gun on her when she won't swim after it, but Vicki accidentally kills her. Instead of coming clean, they decide to stash the body. This is the best a group of law grads can come up with? They didn't even discuss it! This is why I don't think college is for everyone.

They throw their party as if nothing happened, not knowing a killing spree has begun. Meanwhile, Katherine meets her blind date who despite many untimely appearances, plays no real importance to the story, except that they are throwing suspects at you: Is it Peter the blind date, Dr. Beck, or is Mrs. Slater actually still alive?

It's a graduation party, but it seems like there are only six graduates. They notice Mrs. Slater's body is no longer in the pool so they have to find it before one of the guests do. Eventually, her corpse falls out of the attic onto one of the girls. They put the body in the dumpster and run into a cop. Then, they stash the body in the van where they should have put it in the first place... This is turning into Weekend at Bernie's.

Katherine gets Dr. Beck's phone number off of Mrs. Slater's bracelet she finds in the grass. Dr. Beck arrives and he and Katherine find all of Katherine's dead friends in the swimming pool. They go to the cemetery and find Mrs. Slater's body, she's dead. Then he sedates Katherine. Is Dr. Beck in on it? He explains that all Mrs. Slater ever wanted was to have kids and when she found out she couldn't it devastated her. He takes her back to the house where they run into Peter. Beck shoots him with a tranquilizer dart. The real killer comes out and pushes Dr. Beck over the banister where he makes a hilarious sound as he falls to his death.

Katherine escapes and hides in the bathroom, in the very same stall her friend hid in earlier only now, her friend's severed head is in the toilet bowl. She gets out of the bathroom and heads to the attic and hides. Unbeknownst to her she is hiding right in front of the killer. She reacts in time, pulls the head off of a doll, and stabs the killer with the broken neck. He falls out of the attic and hits the floor below for the lamest villain kill ever. But wait, his eyes open and the credits roll.

Who was he? Well he was Eric Slater, Mrs. Slater's dead son that didn't really die that she doesn't know about. His motive? Was he trying to visit his mom on his birthday for the first time in 22 years the year she coincidentally got killed? It's not like he spoke and expressed any sense of loss.

This movie tried so hard to trick you about who the actual killer was by throwing suspect after suspect at you that they actually just made up a character at the end. This is annoying and it's the worse possible ending you can do. I think the Bone Collector did the same thing. Once people have invested an hour and 15 minutes into your movie, you can't just make shit up at the end.

The Gilligan Award goes to a female for the first time, Vicki, for playing with guns and creating this whole situation.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Katherine even though she didn't actually kill Eric, she did slap the shit out Vicki so that counts. She was the only girl in the group to stand up for herself, which put her on her way to becoming the Final Girl.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't play with guns.

2) Don't stand beneath attic doors.

3) If you're going to hide in a bathroom at least lock the stall door and maybe stand on the toilet so no one can see your feet.

House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)

Damien Ross

Rob Zombie 

"Goddamn, motherfucker got blood all over my best clown suit."

This movie kind of felt like Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Natural Born Killers. Rob Zombie's Oliver Stone-like camerawork serves as more of a distraction than an enhancement, just check out his butchering of Halloween 2.

I remember this movie taking forever to finally be released, which added to the disappointment. I was hoping Zombie would have been a unique artistic like Tim Burton rather than annoying film flashes of other scenes like Oliver Stone. I don't mind it when Stone does it, that's kind of his thing. I was hoping to see Rob Zombies artwork come to life live-action in an original story.

Although I loved White Zombie's La Sexorcisto album, I never really got into his stuff after that. Maybe if I had I may have appreciated this movie more? I don't know. One thing you can count on is Rob's musical taste scoring a good soundtrack, which was the best part of this movie as two couples go on a road trip to the south till they have to stop for gas. They stop at a gas station/theme park, but before they leave they pick up a hitchhiker right before getting a flat tire. The hitchhiker takes them to her house and that's when the hell ensues as her family tortures and murders them. And some cheerleaders. And then the cops. And there's some kind of weird sequence where people are running in rabbit suits.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Always gas up before a long drive!

2) Don't pick up hitchhikers, even if they're hot.

3) Always carry a spare tire.

4) Don't act condescending toward or make fun of local southern townsfolk.

5) Always check the backseat!

House By The Cemetery (1981)

Damien Ross

Lucio Fulci

"Damn tombstone!"

Wow. It's one thing to buy a house by a cemetery, it's another to have tombstones in your side yard. This is the final installment of the Gateway to Hell Trilogy.

The opening begins like a slasher flick. A woman gets murdered in a house as she looks for her lover, but I have no idea what that has to do with the rest of the film. It was a cool kill scene though.

Bob is a creepy little kid with a fucked up voice. When he looks at a picture of his new house, there is a young girl in the window telling him not to go in that his mom can't see.

In all three of these movies, the character's mouths look like they're saying the words spoken, it just doesn't sound like the voice I expect to come out of each head. It's sounds like an overdub, but the words match.

Dr. Boyle is moving his wife, Lucy, and son, Bob, into the Oak Mansion so he can take over the work of Dr. Peterson, a guy who murdered his mistress before hanging himself. This is not the same murder from the opening of this movie, although that would have made sense.

There is a little girl named Mae who has hallucinations and I think she is the same girl from the photo that tells Bob to leave. She gives him a doll. What is up with Bob's voice?

The babysitter, Anne, arrives. She looks like the mannequin who's head came off earlier in Mae's vision, but suddenly it seems like Lucy is the one having flashbacks of it. It didn't even seem like the parents screened her first, she just showed up.

Bob can see Mae, but nobody else seems to be able to, not even Anne. She's kinda like Emily from the previous film. Anne's not much of a talker and I wouldn't drink any coffee that she offered me. She actually doesn't do anything wrong throughout the film, it's just that first impression, and the mannequin head thing.

Dr. Boyle goes into the cellar and gets attacked by a bat. The bat bites his hand and it takes him so long to get the bat off. He stabs it and blood leaks out of different holes, all the while, he's splattering blood all over his son and the kitchen.

Somebody stabs the Realtor for like ten minutes.

Boyle begins to think that there is a link between Peterson's research and his death, but after listening to one of Peterson's tapes, he just destroys it.

Anne goes into the cellar and gets sliced and stabbed in the neck because Bob took his sweet ass time getting to the door to free her. I was expecting more out of Anne's character than we got. If anything she was just a red herring that preyed on our fears of leaving our kids with strangers. Her head rolled down the stairs and bob screamed like a little bitch. This movie would be especially scary if you were a kid watching, but I guess any horror movie would be.

So Anne's gone, but Lucy doesn't believe Bob. She assures Bob that Anne will be back. If she thinks Anne is still alive, shouldn't she be just a little bit pissed that Anne just left her son all alone?

It turns out Dr. Freudstein, the original owner, has been living in the cellar all along. He uses human victims to replenish his cells. He kills Dr. Boyle while Lucy just watches.

They somehow keep getting trapped in the cellar even though Boyle destroyed the door. Bob gets pulled out by Mae and somehow winds up at Mrs. Freudsteins house. By the way, Bob is a terrible name for a little boy. As I proofread this, I keep thinking he is an adult male character I've forgotten about. At least call him Bobby.

It seems at the end of each of these movies the survivors still get turned to the dark side.

Initially going into the world of Lucio Fulci, having never seen any of his films, I assumed he was the Italian George A. Romero equivalent. Having watched this trilogy, I see I was wrong. George made zombie movies while Fulci made supernatural movies that happened to have zombies in them. Luci's zombies could just have easily been ghosts or demons and his movies are more of a haunted house rather than a house you seek refuge in. Romero is always trying to get you into a house while Fulci is trying to get you out.

I enjoyed the three films though. City of the Living Dead was my favorite, with The Beyond coming in second. Despite not owing continuity to each other they still create a world within each other. A world where once you enter, no one is safe. The people who seem the most suspicious aren't necessarily evil, heroes don't see tomorrow, and allies that guide us don't actually exist. Romero usually runs us into an ugly mirror that forces us to look at our own reflection while Fulci leads us through the haunted houses of our mind and our own insecurities as if it were a bad dream.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't go into the cellar alone.

2) Don't live right next to a cemetery.

3) Hire a babysitter you trust.

House At The End Of The Street (2012)

Damien Ross

Mark Tonderai

"People don't notice all the secrets around them. Even though they're right in front of them, just hiding, waiting to be found."

Elissa and her mother, Sarah, move into a house. The rent is cheap because it is located down the street from the house where a double homicide occurred: A little girl murdered both of her parents, then mysteriously disappeared. Hence, the neighborhood's value went down.

Elissa attends her first day at a new school then afterward she and her mother go to a neighborhood barbecue where Elissa meets Tyler via Tyler's mom. Tyler's mom builds him up to be the perfect kid, but by after school the next day at a get together, Elissa discovers that he is not such a saint and is possibly a rapist so she decides to leave and begins to walk home... Oh I forgot the best part, on one of the first nights in the new house, Sarah is up at 3AM and as she turns out her light she notices a light on the second story of the house at the end of the street turn on.

The next day Sarah meets Officer Weaver so she asks about the house at the end of the street and tells him about the light that came on. Without missing a beat, Weaver explains that Ryan, the surviving son still lives there and is basically a good kid, which is funny considering the Realtor explained the murders and the missing daughter and that the house has been empty ever since.

Which brings us up to now, Elissa's walking home from Tyler's in the rainy night when a car drives by, passing her, and then stops. Elissa stops, and after a creepy minute or two, the car backs up. It's Ryan. Reluctantly, she accepts the ride. They talk and begin to bond a little, and hell, after escaping Tyler's fake-ass, would-be rapist ass, Ryan's looking pretty good right about now. He is the opposite: Tyler is held in a great light, good student, honor roll, humanitarian, when none of it is actually true, while Ryan is an outcast, but seems to have a good heart. Also, he doesn't go to her school where she already doesn't feel like she fits in, although she used to sing in a band and has met some uncool kids who would like her to audition for their band.

Sarah does not like the idea of Elissa hanging around Ryan. She thinks he is damaged and that Elissa likes to fix broken people. This might have been a better side note if in the beginning they could have shown a really shitty, possibly abusive relationship Elissa or Sarah had been involved in prior, but instead it just made Sarah seem overprotective and crazy, especially during the dinner scene when out of nowhere she said she didn't want them alone together in her house or his. I dont know how old Elissa was supposed to be, but Jennifer Lawrence was about 22 years old in this film so it didn't really seem like she was protecting her child, it just made the scene more odd. She looked like a college student.

By now, there have been several scenes where the film has tried to be deceptive as to where the story was going to the point that I thought Sarah and Ryan might hook up. That all crumbled when she told him off and of course, led more to Elissa's intrigue in Ryan. I also forgot to mention that Sarah works nights. See, this is what happens when I wait 2 weeks to write a review and don't take notes.

While this is happening, we soon find out that Ryan ain't so alone in his house nor is his house the size we think it is. Upstairs, downstairs, basement, and another basement under the basement. And in that other basement is a hallway that leads to a door and behind that door is Ryan's little sister, Carrie-Ann, alive and well, well sort of. Cuffed to a bed and sedated, Ryan brings her soup and occasionally she escapes, but he always catches her in time. Ryan truly is a saint taking care of her and protecting her like that. Except that Carrie-Ann is not so Carrie-Ann. Carrie-Ann is dead and has been since long before Ryan dressed up like a little girl and killed his parents. And now, thanks to his handy bottle of chloroform that apparently you can just buy at the store, Elissa is going to be his new Carrie-Ann.

Okay, this movie had more twists than Wild Things, but I admit it had me fooled. It does do a good job of misleading you and doesn't seem too ridiculous by the time it is over.

The Badass Bitch Award to Sarah, but I can't remember why. I just discovered that this writing wasn't finished so now it's been months seen I've seen the film. But Sarah was a good mom, maybe a little overprotective, but it turned out she was right in the end. I'm gonna have to re-watch the end scene.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't try to fix broken people.

2) Don't put yourself in a situation where you're locked in a room with a guy you don't know.

3) Don't move into a creepy neighborhood where you know there's been murders just to save money, especially if you have kids.

The Horde (2009)

Damien Ross

Yannick Dahan & Benjamin Rocher

"Religion is just death insurance."

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Wow, this was a hidden gem. This is a French subtitled movie, but not nearly as dialog driven as The Girl Who trilogy. A lot of action told the story, it was almost comic book-like. The beginning was reminiscent of From Dusk Till Dawn where you start out feeling like you're just watching another gangster flick until all of a sudden: Vampires–only instead, it was zombies. The zombies were not your typical Romero zombies, but instead, fast swarms of 28 Days Later zombies.

Arore gets the Badass Bitch Award and was probably the most likable character of them all, besides the old man, which is still not saying much. It's hard to believe this whole movie takes place in an apartment complex and at the end, just when you think this great movie is going to have shitty ending, bam! The ending is awesome so I'm not gonna spoil it. Great zombie movie.

 

The Hitcher (1986)

Damien Ross

Robert Harmon

"My brother's from Mars, we're all from Mars around here, got a spaceship parked out back."

Jim Halsey is delivering a car from Ohio to San Diego. As it gets late Jim starts to get tired and sees a hitchhiker. Figuring some conversation might help wake him up he picks him up. It's dark and stormy.

The hitcher's name is John Ryder. John spills the beans that he killed the last person who picked him up and was going to do the same to Jim. John never closed his door all the way from earlier when Jim initially asked him to get out of the car so after a brief struggle, he was able to push John out of the car. End of movie!

Not quite. The next day Jim's driving and a station wagon hauling a boat passes him. Two little kids in the back are waving stuffed animals and toy guns at him and then he sees John's face with them. Jim tries to warn the family, but they don't understand, and for his efforts he almost gets taken out by a bus. When he finally catches up to the station wagon the family is dead and the car he's supposed to deliver is getting more and more thrashed.

Somehow, John keeps finding him, which I guess wouldn't be too hard since he knows where he's going.

Jim goes to the Longhorn restaurant where he meets a waitress named Nash. He calls the cops and sits down to eat the meal Nash made and finds a finger in his French fries, coincidentally, this is when the cops arrive and somehow he has a bloody knife and no identification. The cops arrest him and take him to jail. He finally falls asleep in his cell. When he wakes up his cell door is open and all the cops are dead. He hears more cops showing up outside so he bolts.

Somehow, he kidnaps two cops, but he's in the backseat, shouldn't that mean he's locked in? He kidnaps them to try to clear his name, but then John pulls up, kills them both, and speeds away. John keeps framing Jim.

There's a scene in the Longhorn where Jim asks John, "Why are you doing this to me?" And John replies, "You're a smart kid, figure it out." Perhaps that means that I am not a smart kid, because I never figured it out and the movie never explains it. I don't blame that on poor screenwriting, I actually think that's what makes this movie more disturbing. This hitcher follows this kid around, framing him and fucking up his life for absolutely no reason! Usually, a slasher is out for revenge. In most cases, he was neglected or wrongfully killed so he comes back for revenge or he was a bad person who was justifiably killed, but is still out for revenge. Revenge is revenge for the slasher. But in this case, there is no rhyme or reason, it's not even necessarily revenge. It also preys on the fear of being alone in the middle of nowhere, especially in 1986 with no cell phone, forget it.

This is another one of those movies I would catch while flipping through channels at two in the morning that scared the shit out of me as a kid. I remember watching the trailer and it almost seemed like picking up hitchhikers wasn't a bad idea until this movie pointed out the harsh reality, which is funny cuz this movie goes off the rails.

The Gilligan Award goes to Jim Halsey, because picking up a hitchhiker, especially at like 3AM, is never a good idea and this whole incident coulda been avoided had he just pulled over and taken a nap.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't pick up hitchhikers.

2) Don't drive across the country alone.

3) If you do decide to pick up a hitchhiker and get into small talk, don't tell him personal things, like your final destination.

 

High Tension (2003)

Damien Ross

Alexandre Aja

"You can't escape from me, bitch!"

Two friends, Marie and Alex journey out to Alex's parent's house in the middle of nowhere.

I watched this movie a long time ago and remembered it being good, but after this second viewing, not so much. If you haven't already seen this movie, this would be a good place to stop reading because rather than just a synopsis, I'm just going to explain everything that was wrong with this movie. I think it's a good movie to watch once, then never think about again, because once you know the plot twist, the second viewing is tough.

It begins with the end scene, then Marie wakes up in the backseat of Alex's car, because it was just a dream. Near Alex's parent's house in an old truck is an old creep masturbating with a human head. He throws the head out the window and drives off. This doesn't make sense since Marie is the killer. They arrive in one car, Marie has never been there before. Alex mentions a love interest.

That night, after everyone goes to bed, Marie lies in bed masturbating. Since she is actually the killer, while masturbating, she decides she is going to kill Alex's entire family. She goes outside to the front door and rings the doorbell. For some reason, Alex's dad is the only one who can hear it. When he opens the door, she slashes him with a straight razor and nobody in the house can hear him scream. Alex sleeps with earplugs, but I don't know why her mom and little brother can't hear anything. Marie then kills Alex's mom, and bounds and gags Alex. Then she goes after Alex's little brother who escapes the house only to be shot in a cornfield out back. She carries Alex to the truck. Since Marie is the killer, where did the truck come from? She cuts out a picture of Alex's face from a frame on the fireplace and sticks it to a shrine of pictures of other victims on the visor. So apparently, she's been doing this for awhile.

She drives Alex to the gas station and fills the truck up. She then sneaks into the gas station, lets the attendant know she's in trouble then hides, all the while purchasing alcohol, killing the attendant, and somehow knows his name.

This scene is the definitive moment where her being the killer plot twist officially doesn't work. Up until this point, you can kind of run with it, but at this point, the movie is really asking too much of your imagination: After she kills the gas attendant, she calls the police, and her truck drives off without her. She takes the gas attendant's car and follows. She eventually finds the truck and follows it. The cops go to the gas station, find the dead attendant, then watch the surveillance tape, which is the reveal that Marie is the killer.

At this point, they need to stop showing the creep who we've been tricked into thinking existed for the last hour and twenty minutes. It's as if when writing the screenplay they had no idea how to end the movie so they just pulled a typical 2003 plot twist out of their ass. But without the plot twist, the way she killed the imaginary killer would've still been a pretty weak ending, so I don't know what to say, cuz the movie was good up until then, the first time you watch it. The second viewing reveals flaw after flaw and makes for a very confusing movie.

In the end, after Marie somehow survives her multiple stab wounds, she finds herself locked up in a mental institute. There was not enough character development, all we got were glimpses. All we know for sure is that Marie is crazy and nothing else about her.

There is a scene in the beginning before going to bed at Alex's parent's where she goes out for a smoke and happens to see Alex showering through the window, but that seemed more coincidental than anything. Even though she masturbated shortly after that, she didn't go out of her way to catch her in the shower, so there was nothing that really indicated that that was why she was masturbating.

Apparently she had a crush on Alex, but that was something you had to figure out yourself, although I did read an interesting article that laid the claim that this movie was actually depicting lesbians destroying the nuclear family. I should find the link because that was not my actual own observation. I'm not trying to make myself sound smarter than I am. Hit me up and I'll send ya the link cuz I don't know how to attach it.

 

The Badass Bitch Award would have gone to Alex for hitting the creepy guy in the head with a rock then relentlessly beating him down with a barbwire stick, but that didn't actually happen, and Alex didn't kill anybody, so no award.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't sleep with earplugs in.

Hellraiser (Franchise)*

Damien Ross

Hellraiser (1987)

Clive Barker

Now I remember why I always forget this movie... Cuz it's no good, and the cover is misleading.

There's a dead guy in the attic or basement, or wherever, and his ex-lover slowly brings him back to life by inviting people over and killing them. The blood collects and finds him, rejuvenating him and slowly bringing him back to life. The problem is, he is lurking around the house watching her every move, getting jealous as she revitalizes him. I dunno, fuckin not very exciting.

Feeling that I may have been a little quick to judge, and drunk, I decided to watch this again. It was better, but still not great considering the hype around it. Pinhead is as iconic as Jason, Michael Myers, Freddy, and Leatherface, but he sure doesn't do a whole lot in his short and few appearances except look cool. I won't write it off though, I'll at least watch part two first.

Hellraiser II: Hellbound (1988)

Tony Randel

Well it's no wonder this one was rated X, Julia was naked. I mean, she was too naked, I mean she didn't have any skin! I like a sequel to pick up right where the other left off like Rocky 2 or Porky's 2 or Halloween 2, but as Kirsty was basically recapping the first movie to the doctor, which helps the viewer immensely in terms of catching up, I couldn't help but wonder how she could possibly know all of this.

Pinhead got a few more minutes in and a brief origin story so I'll assume that the next seven movies will slowly unravel that, assuming he didn't really die.

I'm not sure what the point of the little mute puzzle-solver was considering she didn't really solve anything, she just made the movie longer. Maybe Hellraiser is the movie that needs to be remade so that it makes sense. The only thing getting in the way is that they are still making them! It's a good idea, the movies just don't deliver.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

Anthony Hickox

"Don't debate with me, girl! Just come here and die while you still have the option of doing it quickly!"

JP Monroe has it all: He's young, rich, good looking, owner of a hip club, The Boiler Room, and now he is the proud owner of The Pillar of Souls.

Joey is an aspiring news anchor with daddy issues. Every night she has Vietnam flashbacks where her father gets left for dead. Terri is a girl who gets used and tossed aside by JP and ends up befriended by Joey. Joey wants Terri to help her solve the case of the man with the exploding head. Terri is more interested in getting revenge on JP so she goes to his house and turns the Pillar of Souls against him. Pinhead is released from the Pillar and turns Terri into a Cenobite, which sounds like a delicious snack you would purchase from Cinnabon.

Joey crosses over to another dimension where she meets Elliot Spencer, Pinhead's alter ego. Elliot explains Pinhead to Joey and that she must not let Pinhead obtain the puzzle box because that will keep him out of Hell and on Earth. Pinhead creates more Cenobites and wages a battle with Joey, which involves a preacher in a church. Joey eventually manages to trap all of the Cenobites in the puzzle box. Joey has another Nam flashback. She is talking to her dad until he turns into Pinhead. That's right, somehow Pinhead has escaped the box, but then Joey traps him in it again, this time sticking the box into wet concrete, or something.

I'm going to assume that Clive Barker's books are much better than these movies. There is a funny sex scene where JP is fucking one of the girls from the club and has a cigarette in his mouth. When he's done he throws his hands in the air like a fighter who just one a fight.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Terri even though she got turned into a cenobite, she had brass knuckles and punched JP in the mouth. She also discovered the puzzle box.

What did we learn? Survival tips.

1) Be nice to women.

2) Don't purchase old artifacts if you don't know where they are from.

3) Don't have sex with club owners.

Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996)

Kevin Yagher

"Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?"

You know a horror franchise has gone south when they wind up in outer space. So let's see if I got this right: In the 22nd century, Paul is a descendant of the toy maker who made the puzzle box. He tells the story to Rimmer, the interrogator(?), which takes us to the 18th century. Philip finishes the puzzle box and takes it to Duc de l'isle and his apprentice Jacque who are both into black magic. When Philip finds out he tries to take the box back so Jacque curses his bloodline, which takes us to 1996 where we meet John. John has dreams, only this time we don't get to see the dreams, we just know that he has them.

Pinhead wants John to work for him and design a portal so he can come and go as he pleases so he takes his son as collateral. John tries but it doesn't work so Pinhead kills him. Then John's wife traps Pinhead back in the box. This takes us back to the 22nd century, Pinhead in space. Paul needs to be released because he has a plan to stop Pinhead. Rimmer agrees, but only if she can go along too. Paul finds Pinhead and with mirrors and shit he tricks him back into the box.

What did we learn. Survival tips:

1) Don't bother shooting demons.

2) Don't build toys for people who are into the occult and like to put curses on other people.

3) Don't lose your head, get it?

Hellraiser V: Inferno (2000)

Scott Derrickson

"Yeah I did blow with her, and I fucked her, but I didn't kill her."

Detective Joseph Thorne is not what you'd call the perfect cop or the perfect husband. He steals money from evidence, tries to frame his partner, and does coke with the hooker he's cheating on his wife with. He's not much of a father either.

One day karma bites him in the ass when he finds the puzzle box at a crime scene and decides to keep it instead of turning it into evidence. Slowly his world starts crumbling down around him along with his sanity as one by one, the people close to him begin to die, starting with the hooker.

A kid's finger is left at each murder scene and he has to find the Engineer before the kid dies while at the same time trying to convince himself that he is not the killer.

So far, this Hellraiser is the least like the others with Pinhead and the puzzle box being the only thing connecting them. It was a different writer and I bet Hellraiser fans were pissed when they paid to see this. If this is your first Hellraiser film, you probably thought it was okay. Pinhead plays judge on Joseph's judgement day, which is not his usual role.

This felt more like a psychological thriller than a horror film. I'll be interested to see how the next four movies play out.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't cheat on your wife with a hooker and do blow.

2) If you're partner threatens to frame you at least request a different partner.

3) Visit your parents once in awhile when they get old, especially if they're in a home.

4) Don't be a shitty person.

Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker (2002)

Rick Bota

"Welcome to the worst nightmare of all... reality!"

A car accident leaves Trevor with headaches, amnesia, and hallucinations. His wife, Kirstie, is presumed dead, but with no body, Trevor becomes the murder suspect. Also, his amnesia has made him forget what a player he was, sleeping with his neighbor and boss.

His performance at work begins to suffer and Detective Lange won't stop calling and showing up at bad times. To make matters worse, people close to Trevor start dying.

Before Kirstie's disappearance, like an asshole, Trevor had gotten her the puzzle box for their anniversary. He knew how much she was actually worth and was plotting to kill her. But the plot twists: Kirstie knew what was going on all along.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Kirstie for making a deal with Pinhead and delivering five other souls in place of her own, hence the people close to Trevor winding up dead. But wait, he's been dead all along cuz Kirstie shot him in his face, which caused the car crash to begin with. All this time Trevor's been sitting in limbo while good ol Pinhead was playing judge again. WTF?!

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Pay attention and keep your eyes on the road when you're driving.

2) If you want to divorce your wife just tell her, don't cheat on her and plot her death so you can collect the inheritance.

3) If you're going to have sex with your acupuncturist, make sure she takes the needles out before she gets on top of you.

Hellraiser VII: Deader (2005)

Rick Bota

"An hour ago I stabbed you in the heart with a knife, but you're still walking around. Don't you find that a bit weird?"

Amy Klein is a journalist with daddy issues. She had just finished her undercover expose, How To Be a Crack Whore, when her boss called her in for a new assignment. There's a suicide cult called the Deaders led by a man named Winter. Winter gets teens to kill themselves then he brings them back to life. Before Amy knows it, she is balls deep into the cult and she can't tell reality from dream.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Amy Klein for using the bathroom cupboard door to pull a butcher knife out of her back then duct taping a rolled up towel over the wound. She later takes the puzzle box away from Winter and throws it, summoning Pinhead, who kills Winter and all of his followers. Amy then commits harakiri rather than giving her soul to Pinhead.

Pinhead has been acting more like the Ghost of Christmas Past rather than a scary demon the last few movies. He occasionally shows up and rips somebody apart, but for the most part the characters are just dealing with their own inner struggles. Two more to go.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't take the puzzle box! Especially not from a dead girl's hand.

2) Avoid cults where the members enjoy killing themselves then being brought back to life.

Hellraiser VIII: Hellworld (2005)

Rick Bota

"You know what makes my revenge so sweet?... It's because I beat you guys at your own game!"

The film opens with five friends, Allison, Chelsea, Jake, Mike, and Derrick attend the funeral of their friend Adam who's death was somehow linked to Hellworld, an online game based on the Hellraiser series. This is Hellraiser's version of Wes Craven's New Nightmare.

Two years later, the group goes to a Hellraiser themed party where nothing is quite what it seems. They are greeted by a creepy host who takes a special interest in them. He gives them a tour of the mansion showing them all of the props and torture devices from the movies.

Soon, members of the group start getting murdered till it is down to Chelsea and Jake. Chelsea learns that the host is Adam's father and he is looking for revenge. Before long, they realize that they have been drugged, the whole night has been a hallucination, and they are actually buried in the ground, but the deaths are real....

This sounds stupid as I write it, but this movie actually wasn't that bad. The last four have actually kept my interest with their deception and plot twists. I don't even mind it when they make a final movie that negates the whole franchise, but there's still one more....

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Never wander off alone in a mansion full of torture chambers and devices.

2) Beware creepy party hosts.

3) Once you find your friend's severed head in a jar, don't dawdle when looking for an escape, get the fuck outta there.

4) I don't wanna sound too preachy, but put a limit on your online game playing.

5) Look before you stab/don't sneak up on people.

Hellraiser VIX: Revelations (2011)

Victor Garcia

Through flashbacks we see that Steven and Nico took a trip to Mexico. While there, they meet a hooker and Steven has dibs, but that doesn't stop Nico from mining in. After the sex, the hooker is dead. I'm a little fuzzy on details here, but they are now at a bar where they meet a vagrant who gives them the puzzle box.

Fast forward to Steven's house where Steven's parents and Nico's parents, along with Steven's sister, Emma, are sitting around trying to put the pieces back together when Emma goes outside and Steven suddenly appears. She takes him inside, he is cold and seemingly in shock. They try to get answers, but to no avail.

At some point Steven and his sister start making out and later we learn that Nico has taken over his body, but how could she have known that? Nico has once again fucked Steven over, leaving him with Pinhead and the rest of the Cenobites. Nico shoots Steven's dad with a shotgun and forces Emma to open the puzzle box summoning Pinhead. Nico offers a trade, but Pinhead rejects it and the ripping apart ensues.

I heard this was supposed to be a prequel to justify a reboot, which I hope is not true because this movie was fucking stupid. I also heard that Doug Bradley turned this script down because it was a piece of shit. I would like to see them remake Hellraiser, but not anything like this. This movie made the last four look like Oscar nominees.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't have sex with hookers in Mexico and if you do, don't kill them.

2) Make sure the vagrant you shoot is dead before you start talking shit.

3) Don't hang out with people who constantly fuck you over.

 

Hatchet (Trilogy)

Damien Ross

Hatchet (2006)

Adam Green

"You can't hook up with itchy chicks, Marcus. Everyone knows that."

Ben just got dumped by his girlfriend of eight years so his friend Marcus takes him to New Orleans for Mardi Gras to take his mind off her. It doesn't work though and the two end up on a tour boat where they meet Marybeth whose brother and father are missing. Also on the boat are two aspiring actresses, a guy posing as a director, an older couple, and Shawn, the tour guide. They are warned by a crazy guy on another boat not to go any farther, but they don't listen.

Shawn crashes the boat, leaving them stranded in the woods where Marybeth reveals her true agenda and tells the story of Victor Crowley. Victor Crowley was a deformed kid who was terrorized by the other kids until one night it went too far and they accidentally lit the door of his cabin on fire. His dad came home and tried to rescue him by beating the door down with a hatchet when he accidentally struck Victor in the face. Now Victor haunts that swamp killing for revenge. He killed Marybeth's dad and brother so she too is looking for revenge.

It's really not too believable that Robert Englund's character is Marybeth's father and the other hillbilly is her brother, there's nothing hillbilly about her.

This movie was fun and had good characters. For a horror comedy throwback, it was actually better than a lot of horror movies I've seen lately and it had a good ending, but I was expecting more than one kill with a hatchet. Also, it had practical effects and no CGI, which was a nice throwback.

The Badass Bitch Award I guess goes to Marybeth for packing heat and shooting the alligator, but she froze when she first saw Victor Crowley and then didn't make sure he was dead after shooting him. She also didn't bring enough ammo, but she did redeem herself by smacking Misty in the mouth and later kicked the shit out of Victor.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't hunt for alligators in the middle of the night.

2) Avoid night tours through the swamp on a boat.

3) When hunting a deformed psycho, make sure to bring plenty of ammo.

4) Always listen to the crazy guy that tells you to turn around.

Hatchet II (2010)

Adam Green

"Son, I'm gonna give ya about one minute to knock that shit off."

Marybeth is the soul survivor from the first movie, but instead of stopping and considering herself a winner, she decides she wants to go back again for revenge and to find her father and brother's corpses so she can give them a proper burial. She goes back to Reverend Zombie to find out the truth and raise an army to hunt and kill Victor Crowley for good. But it turns out her father wasn't so innocent, he was one of the kids with fireworks that lit Victor's house on fire, which led to his death so Victor has a vendetta of his own.

Reverend Zombie rounds up the locals offering a $500 reward for finding his tour boat, and an additional $40,000 for anyone who can kill Victor Crowley. As the bodies stack, the participants begin to wonder if the risk is worth the reward. Reverend Zombie has an extra trick up his sleeve, because he believes that if everyone involved in the initial firework killing of Victor is dead, the curse will be lifted, which is why he tricks Marybeth into bringing her uncle. Little does he know, her uncle is not really her uncle.

This movie is deliberately campy, even more so than the first, but it's still fun. The characters are goofy, but likeable, so you still feel an attachment to them.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Marybeth for having the balls to go back out after Victor Crowley.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Do not return to the scene of the crime.

2) Do not split up to cover more ground.

Hatchet III (2013)

BJ McDonnell

"No, I hid, and that's the only reason those aren't my balls hanging from that tree!"

We open with Marybeth finishing Victor Crowley off once and for all? She shoots him, saws him in half with a chainsaw, and then scalps him. She then heads to the police station with a shotgun and covered in blood. For her troubles, she gets detained as a suspect, but the sheriff sends out a search party to comb the swamp and see what is out there. Sound familiar at all?

The sheriff's ex-wife, Amanda, is a reporter who has followed the Victor Crowley Legend for decades. She shows up just as the Sheriff and crew are leaving. She has a plan that if she can get the ashes of Victor's dad and have Marybeth give them to him, the curse will be lifted. But for some reason in this movie, Marybeth wants nothing to do with Victor or the swamp.

Meanwhile, in the swamp, the search parties are all getting slaughtered as per usual and in creative ways. They get the urn. Marybeth breaks it over Victor's head and he begins to melt so she shoots him. She has a huge tree branch sticking through her abdomen and it is unclear right before the credits roll if either of them are dead. I suspect a Hatchet IV.

The Hatchet movies are good because you know exactly what to expect from each one. I thought it was pretty funny to see Parry Shen in all three movies playing a different character. The kills are all original, dare I say graphic and there's no CGI, which is a breath of fresh air. This one was less campy than the last, but the characters don't live long enough for you to get too attached.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Amanda for formulating the plan to kill Victor, freeing Marybeth and making shit happen. But is this really the end of Victor Crowley? Somehow I doubt it.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Stay out of the swamp, especially if you know there's an immortal murderer out there.

2) Hide when he comes, you can't kill him.

3) Listen to the Asian guy.

Halloween (1-8)

Damien Ross

Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter

Laurie: It was the boogeyman...

Dr. Sam Loomis: As a matter of fact, it was.

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Michael Myers has been locked up 15 years for murdering his sister in the opening scene. On Halloween, or I guess the day before, he escapes and somehow knows how to drive a car despite being imprisoned since the age of six. The movie does address this so I won't dwell on it, it just seems funny considering how much time he spends driving before arriving to Haddonfield to pick up where he left off.

I thought the omnipresent POV of Michael really added to the creepiness and the jump shots worked because you weren't always sure when it was actually him watching.

Laurie and Annie drive down the street, sharing a joint, talking about their babysitting gigs they have in just a few hours. Laurie's friends are all party girls while Laurie is more the prude (despite the joint). She doesn't have any devious plans set during her babysitting time slot. It seems all the neighborhood parents have plans on Halloween night. Hey, how bout taking your fucking kids out trick or treating?

On Michael's way into town, he is leaving a trail. There's the garage where he killed a guy to get his jumpsuit, the hardware store where he got his mask and knife, and finally the cemetery where he stole his sister's tombstone. Where the hell are Michael's parents anyway? We know his house is still there and vacant, but why are his parents off the hook, shouldn't he want to kill them? Has he planned to escape every Halloween since initially being locked up but this is the first time he actually got out?

Dr. Loomis said he spent 8 years trying to help him and 7 trying to keep him locked up because he's pure evil. Now Loomis is waiting in the neighborhood with a gun ready to kill him.

Laurie and the kid she's babysitting, Tommy, are watching The Thing From another World, which John Carpenter would remake in 1982.

Shortly after Michael has killed Laurie's friends, the camera switches to Laurie's POV. Laurie finally sees Michael Myers, after thinking that she'd seen him several times throughout the day. It turns out Tommy was right, there is a boogeyman out there.

Believe it or not, the first time I saw this movie I was 25. I was living in a shitty old rundown house watching it in the dark alone and it actually scared me.

I wanted to give Laurie Strode the Badass Bitch Award because she is kinda known as original Final Girl, but other than hiding the kids, what'd she really do? She laid the blueprint for other female victims who would later die in future movies: Stab the villain once, leave the weapon, run. The Badass Award goes to Loomis for shooting Michael six times to end the movie, but after a two-story drop, Michael was gone.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't ditch the kid you're babysitting to pick up your boyfriend.

2) Don't have sex in other people's houses when they're not home.

3) Don't keep leaving the murder weapon next to the killer every time you wound him.

Halloween 2 (1981)

Rick Rosenthal

"YOU LET HIM OUT?!"

I love a sequel that picks up right after the first one, but it seems like they always have to prove it by showing the last five minutes of the original. After being shot six times and falling out of a window from the second floor, Michael is gone, and the camera is back in his POV.

Laurie has been taken to the hospital where she is stalked by Jimmy the paramedic.

Loomis and his gun are looking for Michael, which is hilarious because he doesn't even try to be discrete about it, not even in the sheriff's car. Also, the sheriff is already pissed at Loomis because he blames him for Michael's escape, which led to his daughter Annie's death.

They think they see Michael so Loomis gets ready to shoot him when a cop car comes speeding out of nowhere, for basically no reason, on a residential road, and crashes into the suspect, pinning him against a van, which is now on fire. It's not Michael.

Michael is in the hospital. For some reason, the hospital has a hot tub and Bud gets Karen to go in it with him. Is it weird for a hot tub thermostat temperature to go up to scalding? Bud is such a douche that it's actually funny to watch him get killed in the background, especially considering that he was the ringleader in the raping of Jodie Foster in The Accused. But poor Karen. She was right, the hot tub was too hot, scalding hot.

The big reveal: Michael has a little baby sister who was put up for adoption two years after he was put away when their parents died. Her name was Laurie and was adopted by a couple who lives a few houses down from the Myer house. Did they have some sort of telepathic bond? Maybe this is why she always thought she could see him when he was nearby. They could have taken a page out of Star Wars and moved her farther away. I mean Jesus, she lived right across the street!

Jimmy, the paramedic stalker told Laurie, "I won't let anything happen to you," which was funny because she'd already had a reaction to her medication. The next time he sees her, she's hiding in his car, which he can't start, then he passes out with his head on the horn so Michael can hear exactly where they are. Thanks for nothing Jimmy. Other than knocking himself out when he slipped on blood, what the hell was wrong with him? He was obsessed with Laurie, then barely acknowledged her when he noticed her in his car as he tried to escape. He had seen a dead body, shouldn't he have been glad she was alive?

Laurie gets out of the car in time to see Loomis, the other doctor, and the Marshall, head into the hospital, but it seems the scream queen has lost her voice.

In the final suspenseful scene, it's just Laurie, Loomis, and Michael. Out of bullets, Loomis starts spraying oxygen and Laurie follows suit.

The Badass Award once again goes to Dr. Loomis, for relentlessly pursuing Michael before turning on the oxygen, telling Laurie to run, then martyring himself with the flick of a bic. Unfortunately, it was all for naught, because Michael will be back.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't fool around with jackasses.

2) Don't go into hot tubs if the thermostat goes up to "scalding."

3) Don't make any sudden movements if you're standing in a pool of blood.

Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982)

Tommy Lee Wallace

"Hey Cochran, fuck you!"

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What pisses people off about this movie is that it is part of the Halloween franchise, yet it literally has nothing to do with the rest of the franchise. This is John Carpenter's fault. After the second installment, he decided he wanted the series to be an anthology, which you can't just decide after making two movies that created one of the most iconic horror villains of all time. To his credit, I believe Michael Meyers was the first villain in a horror movie to get a sequel, and Halloween 1 and 2 play out like one long movie, more or less. But that's the story behind the third installment: It was supposed to be something new, and the next year Halloween 4 would have also been a new story. That aside, let's get into the movie.

I first watched this movie about seven years ago, confused, but still along for the ride. It opens with a man on the run, but we don't know why or who he's running from. According to the footer note, an hour has passed and we are introduced to that horrific jingle that echos throughout the entire movie. Side note: Do not fall asleep while watching this DVD because once the movie is over this jingle plays on a perpetual loop during the main menu. You don't need that, that's no way to sleep. The man on the run simply yells, "They're coming!"

Next we meet Tom motherfuckin Atkins playing Daniel Challis, who'll I'll be referring to as Tom Atkins for the duration of this review. He enters a house wearing a jacket that looks at least one size too small as we quickly learn that it's his ex-wife's home. He is a day late and a dollar short with the Halloween masks he brought for his kids. Mom already bought them Super Shamrock masks and they are glued to the TV listening to that horrible jingle from the commercial. Had he showed up on time, he could've avoided his own personal stake in the fight he is about to embark on. He is also a doctor armed with a flask.

Tom returns to the hospital where coincidentally, the harbinger from earlier may or may not be in a coma, until he's awakened by that horrific Super Shamrock jingle. "They're going to kill us all!"

While in his room, the harbinger gets killed by one of the men in gray suits who was after him in the opening. A foreshadowing Super Shamrock pumpkin mask falls from the harbinger's hand to the floor as the gray suit man flees. A nurse checks on the harbinger, screams, and Atkins is on the case, but a little too late as the gray suit man blows himself up in his vehicle. Who knew that dousing your face in a little bit of gasoline would be enough to instantly blow up your whole car? This must have scared the shit out of all teenage girls who doused their bangs with the even more flammable Aqua Net in the 80's.

Ellie, the harbinger's daughter, arrives at the hospital full of questions, which eventually leads her to Tom at the bar, where a commercial for the original Halloween is playing on the TV. I don't know if Tom Atkins is an alcoholic in real life or just gets type-cast in horror movies, but I've seen him consume more alcohol on the 80's big screen than Nicolas Cage did in Leaving Las Vegas.

Ellie and Tom decide to take a road trip to the Super Shamrock Factory. They check into a room together as husband and wife so they can have a place to talk without the whole town watching.

On the way in, Tom nearly gets hit by a flying bike, which leads to the introduction of his annoying new neighbors. Right after that, he almost gets hit by a car, driven by Marge (who has unfinished business with Cochran), ironic, considering he was only parked about 20 ft from his motel room door.

Tom's a good sport though. He goes into his room where Ellie is, and since he is easily at least twice her age and there's only one bed, he offers alternative sleeping arrangements to which she asks, "Well where do you want to sleep?" A sex scene ignites out of nowhere. It's every aging, alcoholic, doctor's dream come true. He even asked her how old she was to which she replied, "Does it matter?"

The town is run by Conal Cochran who is also the head of Super Shamrock. There is a martial law vibe, kind of: A loudspeaker comes on and tells everyone they need to be inside by 6pm. Tom sneaks out anyway and meets a bum. The angry bum assures him that this is Cochran's last Halloween, gets a dollar off Tom, then gets his head pulled off by one of the men in gray.

In her room, Marge finds a Shamrock logo from one of the masks. Upon closer inspection, she discovers what looks to be some sort of micro-chip. As she tampers with it a laser shoots her in her face and worms start to crawl out of her wound.

Cochran's paramedic team show up to take care of her body and Cochran rules it a "misfire," which doesn't sit well with Tom.

Tom's friend, Betty, back at the hospital, is having no luck with the autopsy from the initial car explosion. She has pieces, but can't seem to find any human remains. It appears that Tom is working two chicks at the same time.

Cochran is onto Tom and Ellie as they tour the town. Ellie sees her dad's car and almost gets herself killed by the surrounding gray suits. Next thing you know Ellie is missing and Tom has an altercation with one of the gray suits. It's funny how in one scene they can decapitate a human with their bare hands then in the next, they have trouble choking out ol' Tom.

Tom gets captured and Cochran takes him behind the curtain. Like all evil villains doomed to fail, instead of killing the hero and executing his master plan, he has to explain what an evil genius he is: At 9pm Halloween night, the final commercial will come on and all the kids watching wearing a Shamrock mask will take a laser to the skull causing a nationwide child sacrifice; somehow this ties into the title, Season of the Witch. He demonstrates on the annoying child of the annoying couple next door to Tom's hotel room. Not totally rare, but not too often do you get to see a kid die in a horror movie without the plot of the movie revolving around said kid.

Tom finds himself locked in a room, strapped to a chair with a Super Shamrock mask on his head as he awaits for the commercial to come on. Halloween is on the TV. He manages to cut his hands free then effortlessly throws the mask from his head over the camera across the room despite not being able to move his arms from the elbow up cuz he still has the upper strap on. This is the equivalent to a high school basketball player making an across the court shot at the buzzer and he looks not the least surprised.

Tom escapes the room and finds a phone. He calls his wife and warns her about the masks, but she doesn't believe him.

He rescues Ellie, then from an upper level drops boxes of micro-chipped logos down onto the myriad men in gray, which instantly self-destructs them. They are robots. He and Ellie find a car and escape, but, plot-twist: Ellie is in fact a robot too. She tries to kill him so he destroys her. Question: Was she really a robot the whole time, or did he rescue a robot copy of her and the real Ellie died in the destruction of the factory? He had sex with her, how could he not tell? If a girl more than half your age is totally into you, no questions asked, and you look like Tom Atkins, she's probably a robot.

I forgot to mention that Tom's other love interest was killed by one of the gray suits with a drill to the skull. Once again, if you can decapitate someone with your bare hands, why would you reach for a weapon in close quarters? So it seems Tom is now assed out, literally.

Tom finds himself at the tow truck station and we end where we began. He finds a phone and calls the television station (remember when we used to call them stations? "Hey man, change the station.") The first one listens, doubts, then complies. The second one does the same, but the third one does not. Remember when there were only three channels? It'd be a lot harder to save the world now.

The Badass Award goes to Tom Atkins. You could call it a failure since he only saved two thirds of the kids, but even had he gotten them to change the channel of the third, no one would ever know it was he who saved the day. He is humble in victory and in defeat.

This movie actually isn't that bad, it's just tainted by the Halloween franchise. It could almost be looked at as a precursor to They Live.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't talk shit to Cochran if you can't back it up.

2) Take the severed arm off your car door before you close it.

3) Be original when picking out your Halloween costume.

 

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

Dwight H. Little

“Don't try that Halloween shit with me.”

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Honestly, this is as far as I have ever gotten into the Halloween series. That's right, only the first four, and part of the Busta Rhymes one. I may have seen part 5, but I won't know until I watch it again. Sequence has always stopped me, because they quit numbering after part 5. I really hate it when franchises do that. So I bought the blu ray box set. After watching this one, I am actually excited about watching part 5.

This film takes place ten years after part 2. Michael Myers is alive and has been locked up in a mental ward and is now being transferred. There is a brief recap of the first two films on an elevator ride. Michael comes to life inside the ambulance and sticks his thumb through one of the doctor's skulls before causing an accident. Really? You're gonna transport this guy on a stretcher in an ambulance?

Elsewhere, a little girl, Jamie (a pre-Roseanne Danielle Harris), can't sleep. Her foster sister, Rachel, who Jamie's mom, Laurie, used to babysit tries to console her, then sends her off to bed. It's almost a little too convenient how the people and the neighborhood tie together. Nobody ever goes anywhere, it somehow all stays close knit. Hey, take a page outta Star Wars and separate the babies as far away as possible from the evil! Don't move two houses down, don't put her in a foster home with a girl you used to babysit, granted if they were gonna take that angle, it would've been cool had Rachel been the older version of the little girl from the original that Tommy visited. But no.

Not only did Michael survive Halloween 2, apparently, so did Loomis. So much for him receiving the Badass Award for being a martyr. They made up for it, not by making any mention of it in the film, but by giving him a burned patch on his face and on his hand. After the explosion he suffered, he should have looked like Freddy Krueger, yet somehow, he still has no credibility with the police. It didn't take long to coax them, but in a small town like that, as soon he walked through the door the cops should've been like, “how can we help you sir?”

Michael kills a mechanic because he has a weird predilection toward coveralls.

Loomis, by sheer coincidence, finds the first casualty then comes face to face with Michael. He fires a couple of shots, but Michael escapes in a tow-truck and is on the road again. The baddest man on the planet is afraid of an old man!

Jamie gets made fun of at school for having a psycho uncle, a dead mom, and being an orphan. Rachel picks her up and they go to her boyfriend's store to look at costumes. Jamie has decided she wants to go trick-or-treating after all and picks out a costume similar to what little Michael Myers wore in the original.

Rachel's parents go out for the evening and she and Jamie go trick-or-treating. Michael is in the house. He finds pictures of Laurie. Its almost as if he found the house by dumb luck and needed the pictures to confirm it.

Rachel and Jamie wind up knocking on Kelly’s door. Kelly is the girl that Rachel’s boyfriend, Brady, works with. And what a surprise, turns out, Brady is already there! Seems he already knew of the plan to meet up there, or he was getting ready to cheat on her after one plan cancellation, which I totally didn’t mention from earlier.

Michael Myers is lurking around and as if by magic, or poor story writing, has found an exact replica of his original mask. At least with Jason there was nothing unique about a hockey mask.

Rachel and Jamie leave, the cops find them, and then Michael finds them all. But it's not really Michael, just a couple of teenagers that have that same mask. It’s kinda crass that in a small town that only has one horrific event that makes it special, they would use that as a way to put themselves on the map. Too bad it wasn’t the 90’s, they coulda used that whole Scream media angle.

The local redneck drunks leave the bar and are on the case. And they got guns. They kinda enter the story out of nowhere to provide more victims for Michael.

Brady is about to have sex with Kelly, but her dad comes home. He's a cop, the same cop transporting Loomis, Rachel, and Jamie who are now on the scene. The only way this cock-block could have been worse would’ve been Michael Myer’s actually killing either of them right before climax. I would’ve opted for the Michael scenario in that situation.

Kelly’s house is now on lockdown.

For some reason, Jamie is sleeping in a room alone.

Michael's gets a rifle and is freakishly strong. Instead Of shooting Kelly, he rams the rifle through her and pins her to the wall. Bye Kelly. How'd he get into the house? Next Michael smashes Brady's skull with his hands, Brady has no idea how to shoot a rifle.

Rachel and Jamie climb out the window onto the second story roof. Michael goes after them. Rachel lowers Jamie off the roof and then falls off. Jamie runs off and into Loomis. Where the fuck has Loomis been?

They go to the school house. Michael throws Loomis through a window. Jamie and Michael are alone and Jamie falls down the stairs. Rachel to the rescue! Somehow she knew where they were.

The redneck drunks show up and decide they want nothing to do with Michael. They load Rachel and Jamie into their truck to take them out of town. But Michael is under the truck. He climbs into the bed of the truck unnoticed and kills the three guys in the back. He then reaches in and kills the driver and it's Rachel behind the wheel! She manages to shake Michael off by hitting the breaks then hits him with the truck. He never drops his knife.

The cops arrive, Jamie goes to Michael, touches him, then they shoot him like 20 times until he falls down... a mineshaft? I can't wait to see how he gets out of this one.

The girls return home.

POV shot through a mask like the opening scene of the original. Little Jamie has killed her foster mom with a pair of scissors and Loomis freaks out as it starts over again. Is there some kind of haunting spirit that possessed Michael and now Jamie?

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Rachel, for climbing out of a second story window with a child stuck to her back and saving Jamie at all costs.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't transfer mental patients, or convicts for that matter, to other facilities, especially not in an ambulance.

2) Don't leave your kids alone on Halloween.

3) Don't leave the person your protecting in a room alone.

Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989)

Dominique Otherin-Gerard

“Fortunately, we’re lousy cops.”

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Like the the sequel to the original, this film picks up right where we left Michael in the previous and offers a little recap: Michael survives the police gunfire, drops 20 ft. into a stream, then casually backfloats to safety.

1 year later: Children’s Clinic.

To complete the recap, Jamie has a nightmare about killing her foster mom. She seems to have a psychic connection to Michael because elsewhere, while Michael kills the guy he’s been living with for the past year, she has a seizure. Somehow Michael swam, or floated to safety, found a guy who would take care of him for a year, who didn’t just feed him and give him shelter, but removed bullets? Then one day, Michael just up and kills him cuz he doesn’t need him anymore. What a weird premise-twist this is. They should have just not explained his absence. What was that year like for that guy who took care of him? What was going on in his life? That’s a movie in itself.

Rachel is visiting Jamie at the clinic. I guess she’s over the whole “Jamie killing her mom” thing. Her friend Tina shows up at the window with a puppy so they let her in. So far this doesn’t strike me as a hard place to escape from if you can sneak in that easily. It would probably be just as easy for a psycho uncle to sneak in. Wink, wink.

As Rachel leaves, she says, “Mom and dad send their love.” What what? Apparently, there has been a bit of a rewrite. Now they are step-sisters, which seems impossible considering both of Jamie’s parents died 11 months before the last film, and the “step-mom” is alive?

Michael is lurking.

After a false alarm back at the house, Rachel gets stabbed with scissors in very anti-climactic fashion for a main character. Thus, Tina takes over and fulfills the Rachel role for the rest of the film. It’s almost as if there was some kind of dispute between the actor and director, but no, I read that they just wanted to prove that no one was safe. Sammy comes over.

There’s a man in black with some cool boots. We’re meant to think that he is Michael and that he just rode the city bus while nobody thought anything of it. He shows up a couple of times throughout the film, but is never explained.

This movie is full of jump scares. There’s one like every seven minutes.

Michael kills Tina’s boyfriend, Mikey, who is the perfect 80’s douche, but first he has to be a dick and scratch the paint on Mikey’s car, his most prized possession. Now Michael has a new car and a new mask. It’s the mask Tina got for Mikey so Michael has a disguise as he goes after Tina. But Jamie saves the day! Somehow, Loomis knew her freak out was about Tina and they track her down.

Mikey’s friend Spitz almost gets himself killed by the cops on stakeout when he comes out wearing his Michael Myers costume. Spitz eventually meets his demise when Michael catches him and Sammy having sex. How come Jamie had no reaction to that, or Mikey’s death for that matter?

Okay, enough story line. This installment is basically just a typical 80’s slasher flick that uses Michael Myers as a tool to sell tickets. I don’t have an issue with them making a part 5, but this was just formulaic bullshit. Proof of that is the changes in continuity and the killing off of a main character only to replace her with an identical character, like The Walking Dead does with black guys. That being said, I still enjoyed it, but it totally felt like they found an 80’s slasher handbook and threw together a generic flick, which would have been totally acceptable had it a different title and villain. They should have built upon the evil Jamie angle, but they didn’t.

The Badass Award goes to Loomis, for dropping a chain net over Michael, shooting him with tranquilizers, then hitting him a ridiculous 16 times with a 2x4. Yes, I rewound and counted.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Find out why your dog is barking.

2) Don’t leave the crying little girl who led the cops to you earlier.

3) When fleeing a killer inside a house, don’t go up. Stay on the main floor so you are still able to leave the house.

Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)

Joe Chappelle

“Enough of this Michael Myer bullshit!”

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Six years later. The day before Halloween.

A woman gives birth to a baby that is taken away to be sacrificed. It’s unclear at first who the woman is, but we later find out it’s Jamie, six years later. Part of me thinks they made it unclear on purpose so that by the time you connected the dots you’d have forgotten that Jamie was only 10 the last time we saw her, which means she got knocked up when she was 15.

One of the doctors rescues the baby, brings it to her, and shows her the way to escape. Then Michael kills her. Jamie escapes and steals some guy’s truck who gets killed by Michael and it appears that Michael is working with these people?

Elsewhere, a little boy named Danny lives in the original house and hears the voice-man. It’s the voice that Michael and Jamie could hear. His mom, Kara, checks on him then goes into her bedroom and inexplicably strips down to her bra and panties. She is listening to a radio show called Back Talk, hosted by Barry Simms. She walks over to the window and notices Tommy watching from a window across the street and he even has a camera setup. What’s up with that? She didn’t know anything about that until she happened to see his light on? It’s not like he was being inconspicuous.

Tommy calls into the radio show basically just to explain to the viewers that he is the grown up version of Tommy from the original and from his window he can see everything that goes on in that house. Has he lived in that same house this whole time? And who's that old deaf lady, Mrs. Blankennship?

Everyone in this movie is listening to the same talk show. Jamie calls in from the bus depot and calls out Loomis. Michael somehow caught up to her at the bus depot. She leaves again and gets in a high speed chase with Michael in a van. Michael runs her off the road. Jamie doesn’t have a child seat!Michael kills Jamie in one of the calmest deaths I’ve ever seen. She tells him he cannot have the baby. Michael goes to the truck and the baby’s not there, it’s just a blanket wrapped around a brick. So she left her real baby at the bus depot? Fortunately, Michael is not smart enough to put two and two together and go back to the damn bus depot.

Kara has returned after leaving five years prior and is now living in her parents house with her bastard son Danny, who is clearly older than five. Her dad does not approve of her living there and slaps her at the breakfast table so Danny pulls a steak knife on him and we have a new little psycho protege.

Tommy goes to the bus depot. Everything is normal there, except no one has cleaned up the blood from the night before. He finds the baby in a cabinet in the bathroom. Remember the newborn that was almost sacrificed, has never been fed, and then slept all night in a cold cabinet? That baby.

Tommy takes the baby to the hospital and runs into Loomis. He introduces himself then tells Loomis that the family living in the Myers’ house are relatives of the Strode’s. He tells Loomis to meet him at 9 pm and then without mentioning the baby in his arms nor getting the baby any help, which was why he went to the hospital in the first place, he just leaves.

Loomis pays the Strode house a visit. He doesn’t bother to knock, he’s just inside, and scares the shit out of Mama Strode. He explains that Michael’s coming back and she doubts him. Everybody doubts Loomis till the shit hits the fan. What is wrong with the people in these movies? Michael has come back three times! If I lived in Haddonfield, I would book a flight to Hawaii every Halloween.

Debra (Mama Strode) makes a plan to escape, but it is too late, Michael is home and kills her in the yard and may or may not have rewashed the sheet he got her blood all over. Who’s hanging their clothes outside to dry in 1995?

After looking for her mom for a ridiculous amount of time, Kara goes upstairs only to find Tommy and Danny, and the baby. He takes them to his house so he can fill them in on the first two films. Tommy tells his Thorn Theory. I was half paying attention during this part. Something about the stars aligning or some shit. This actually could be the throwback to Halloween 3 that connects these movies! Child sacrifice... Hmm.... Too bad I wasn't paying more attention.

Suddenly, Mrs. Blankenship can hear, and downstairs she tells Danny a creepy story. She warns Kara of the voice. Danny can hear it and so could Michael.

John Strode drives home drunk on Halloween evening? While kids are out trick-or-treating? He comes home to an empty house. He goes into the basement where he can hear the the washing machine and aha! Michael really is washing the sheets!

The meeting at 9 o’clock is at a live episode of Back Talk. This movie was made in 1995, which was post Morten Downey JR, yet still the heyday of Jerry Springer, and Howard Stern was just inches away from being a household name. They want to record at the Myers’ house. Tim, Kara’s brother, didn’t know he lived in the Myers’ house and this is how he finds out. Unfortunately, this episode will not be recorded because when Barry Simms gets into his van, somehow Michael is waiting for him.

Barry’s corpse shows up at the same time as Loomis and Tommy.

Tim and Beth arrive at the seemingly empty house first, not knowing that Barry is dead, so even though they’re expecting him to show up at any moment, along with a large group of others, they decide to have sex in Kara’s bed. Ah, to be young again. Why didn't he have sex in his own room?

Afterward, Tim takes a shower and Michael kills him. Kara calls Beth from Tommy’s room where she can see everything to warn her to get out of the house, but it is too late.

Now Danny is missing so Kara goes back to the house. She finds Tim and Beth’s corpses in her bed. She then finds Danny then Michael finds her. She pushes Michael down the stairs, which knocked him out? Granted, there were a lot of goddamn stairs. She and Danny run back to Tommy’s house. Loomis and Tommy are inside and Michael is outside, but the baby is missing. Dr. Wynn is there and it turns out that he is the man in black from the previous film and Mrs. Blankenship is in on it, plus they have some backup. Kara immediately jumps out the second story window. A bit of an overreaction I thought. Then her body is missing.

At the sanitarium, Wynn is waiting and wants Loomis to join him. Wynn worked the Myers’ case almost as long as Loomis. Kara is being held captive in a room, like Ellie in Halloween 3, but Tommy comes to the rescue. I knew from the beginning there was chemistry. Michael shows up, but Tommy gets to Kara just in time.

Michael finds a large knife and goes on a killing spree against a bunch of doctors. Apparently, the sanitarium is still operational, but this gives Tommy and Kara the chance to grab Danny and the baby and try to escape. Michael walking fast is actually really scary.

Tommy tricks Michael with a fake baby which is actually a bunch of syringes full of green shit. Kara beats Michael down, but it’s not good enough and he tries to choke her out. Tommy gets another syringe and beats him down relentlessly with the lead pipe while the others escape.

Afterward, Loomis wants to stay behind and take care unfinished business.

Inside, Michael’s mask is on the floor and we hear the sound of laughter, huh?

The Badass Award goes to Tommy, for being paranoid enough and staying alive after all of Michael’s visits, to get involved and take a stand. But let’s be honest, it took being a pervert with a hot next door neighbor to pull him out of hiding. The next runner up was that baby for being so damn durable.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) If your kid tells you there’s someone in his room at least act like you’re gonna check it out instead of just dismissing him.

2) Don’t let your newborn baby ride in the passenger seat of a pick-up truck.

3) Don’t forger your towel.

Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later (1998)

Steve Minor

“Oh, we've got a psychotic serial killer in the family who loves to butcher people on Halloween, and I just thought it in bad taste to celebrate.”

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This film opens with Marion, the nurse, who I didn’t recognize from the original two, coming home to find that her house has been broken into. She seeks help from two neighbor teens, Jimmy and Tony. They call the cops and Jimmy goes inside to investigate. I have no idea exactly how long Jimmy was inside because it was light outside when he went in and dark when he came back out, yet still no sign of the cops who claimed they’d be there in 15 minutes.

After Jimmy deems the house safe, Marion goes back inside alone. She was Dr. Loomis’ nurse, who died recently, so this is actually Loomis’ house. She notices that Laurie Strode’s file has been stolen and senses someone is in the house. It’s Michael. She runs back over to Jimmy’s, but Jimmy and Tony are already dead, which seemed impossibly quick considering we just saw Michael lurking about and Jimmy and Tony said goodbye only a few minutes ago. The cops show up and for some reason have their sirens are on. While they check out Marion’s house, she’s getting killed in the house next door. Michael drives away. Michael drives in every movie. That’s so weird.

Elsewhere, Laurie’s back! And it’s Halloween day. Laurie is now an overprotective single mother. Her son, John, attends the private school where she is the Dean. There is a student camping trip to Yosemite, on Halloween? But Laurie won’t sign Johns’s permission slip. She wants him nearby on this day even though they live a few states away from Haddonfield. Also, Laurie is dating one of the other teachers, Mr. Brennan.

John and Charlie sneak off campus to get liquor and coincidentally, Laurie’s a lush. She runs into John and Charlie, but doesn’t know about the booze they stole. She bitches John out for being out and about on this particular day, so at least she’s taking precautions and recognizing the pattern, but John has had a Michael Myers free life and is tired of hearing about all the Uncle Mike bullshit.

At this point in the film, we learn without a doubt that this is a direct sequel to part 2, so part 3, 4, 5, and 6 never happened. They still worked Loomis’ death into the story, which means he still unnecessarily survived the explosion at the end of part 2. Bad writing I say, so he retains the Badass Award for being a martyr. He didn’t know they’d keep bringing his character back to life so it was still a selfless act.

Laurie changes her mind and let’s John go to Yosemite. She bumps into Norma, Janet Leigh, the original “scream queen” from Psycho and in real life is Jamie Lee Curtis’s mom.

Laurie keeps thinking that her boyfriend is Michael. Hmm... Foreshadowing or just a trick?

Michael tricks LL CoolJ into letting him on campus.

Since it took John so long to get permission to go to Yosemite, he and Charlie had already made alternative plans with their girlfriends, Sarah and Molly. They never leave campus. Instead they camp out in the school.

Thinking John is away at Yosemite, Laurie and Mr. Brennan share a romantic evening alone. How does he not know she is a lush? Even if he has know sense of smell he’s a fuckin psychologist. But wait, she’s on a sort of witness protection plan so he doesn’t know her past. She tells him the plot of the original Halloween and that she is Laurie Strode. He doesn’t believe her at first, but then he does? Michael came back when she was 17 and this Halloween John is 17.

Around the hour mark we get our first two relevant kills, Charlie and Sarah. John finally gets to meet Uncle Mike. He and Molly narrowly escape and now Laurie and Michael are face to face. Maybe she’s not so crazy after all.

Brennan kills LL CoolJ, thinking he is Michael Myers, then the real Michael kills Brennan. Laurie, Molly, and John escape, but she sends them away so she can take Michael on herself. Dual knives. Michael takes his usual second-story fall. It turns out LL CoolJ is still alive and inadvertently saves Michael. This movie would have been better if LL CoolJ were playing himself and had fallen on hard times so he took a job as a security guard at a private school to make ends meet.

Not satisfied with Michael’s death, Laurie steals the coroner van and takes Michael for a ride. After Michael comes to and escapes the body bag Laurie stomps on the brakes and ejects Michael through the windshield. She waits for him to get up then crashes into him, driving the van off a cliff. She was either thrown out or jumped out, but Michael finds himself pinned to a tree by the van. She goes down to him with an ax. He reaches his hand out to her and she chops his head off.

Michael only killed three people in this movie. No wait, three at the beginning and three toward the end. Six. Still kinda weak.

The credits roll to Creed. Why? With no warning they stuffed the late 90’s right down my throat. But I guess as bad as Creed are, it gave me a little late 90’s nostalgia, along with Michelle Williams. Where has she been? The mid to late 90’s brought slasher flicks back along with some other descent horror flicks, but only for like a minute until the 2000’s came and remade everything. I now have Creed stuck in my head as I write this.

After all is said and done, I definitely missed Loomis in this one. Loomis was the voice of reason that the characters needed to remind them that they’re not crazy and that someone believes in them. When you second guessed yourself, Loomis was the one who reassured you that you were right.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Laurie, for staying behind and this time making sure Michael was finished. No more stab, drop the knife, and run. Coincidentally, the Gilligan Award also goes to Laurie because had she just sent her son off to Yosemite in the first place, he would’ve been safe.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t go into your house after it’s been broken into.

2) Don’t get drunk if you suspect that a serial killer is going to come after you, or maybe go ahead.

3) Don’t stick your hand down a garbage disposal.

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Rick Rosenthal

“You know Donna, you’ve got great legs, what time do they open?”

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Three years have past and Laurie Strode has been locked up in a sanitarium. It turns out, when she chopped off Michael’s head at the end of the last film, it wasn’t really Michael. At some point before he was put into the body bag he did the ol’ switcharoo. That’s a bit of a stretch, but that would make more sense for him reaching his hand out to her the way he did right before she decapitated him. So why is she locked up? It was the wrong guy, but how bout they take off his mask before pronouncing him dead and zipping him up in a body bag? Now Laurie is locked up Terminator 2 style for a dead guy she thought was a serial killer. I think there were enough casualties around campus to justify her actions.

Laurie has been waiting and now the time has come, there has been no mention of it being Halloween. She lures him into a trap on the roof. She’s ready to kill him, but makes one fatal mistake: This time, she decides to make sure it’s really him under the mask, which leads to her doom as she’s flung off the rooftop after being stabbed in the back.

Now my question is, since we’re only about ten minutes in, what is Michael going to do now? His life goal was to kill Laurie and anyone who got in his way and now she’s finally dead. He should be done. This film should end here with Michael doing the Happy-Dance. But no....

Elsewhere, at Haddonfield University, Sara, Jen, Rudy, and three others are selected to be on a reality show at the Myers’ house on Halloween night, which will air live on a website called Dangertainment.

This film attempts to be a social commentary on reality television and the internet, which is kind of funny since both were relatively new concepts in 2003 compared to now. They also used a little found- footage angle. Unfortunately, the writers of this movie are not George A. Romero, who would tackle a similar concept with more success in 2007’s Diary Of The Dead.

Deckard is Sarah’s secret admirer. He is a freshman posing as a grad student. This film shoves the internet right in your face. He was her IT guy, then made up a screen name and chats with her via email and chat rooms before MySpace and Facebook had taken off.

Michael is already in the house and gets his first kill while Tyra Banks makes coffee with her back to the monitor. Tyra kicked off her own quasi-reality show, America's Next Top Model, the following year.

The contestants arrive at the house: Let the jump scares begin.

Elsewhere, Deckard is at a Halloween party. He finds a room away from everyone else with a computer so he tunes into the show. Eventually, others come into the room to watch the show with him, only they don’t know it’s real.

Jen is hanging out with Bill, a date rapist type, who can’t keep his hands off her and is trying to get her to flash for the camera. He soon gets a butcher knife to the head while somehow Tyra always seems to preoccupied during these kills.

Jim is a creep, but eventually, Donna is into him. He finds a key to the basement and this seems like a weird time to have sex with a stranger. There are little surprises set up all over the house and at this point the film suggests that Michael was tortured as a kid. Isn’t it a little late for that angle?

Busta Rhymes is dressed up like Michael Myers and runs into the real Michael Myers. He yells at him and tells him to go away, so Michael does. Busta unlocked the secret to getting away from Michael Myers! But I guess it didn’t work too well for Donna. When the music comes on for her kill scene is probably the best moment in the film.

Busta gets busted when Jim saves the day. Now the remaining cast is in on the plot. The cast agree to play along, more or less, but now they have no reason to be afraid of the real Michael Myers cuz they'll assume it's just Busta in disguise. This also explained all the traps around the house and the accusation of Michael being abused as a child, it’s just good tv.

Jen discovers Bill’s body then gets decapitated in front of the others. Michael crushes Jim’s head.

Deckard calls 911, but the dispatch assumes it’s just a prank. Aren’t they kinda obligated to send someone out regardless?

Michael goes after Sarah, but Rudy intervenes so she just bails. She talks to Deckard through the screen and he sends texts messages as to Michael’s whereabouts by watching the screen, which was kind of a cool angle. She’s now half a step ahead of Michael.

She goes out the window up to the roof. Busta Rhymes finds her. Busta Rhymes has a karate showdown with Michael and makes a hilarious sound when he kicks him out the second story window with a move he learned from a movie he watched earlier that day. Now Michael is hanging from a cable that Sarah wrapped around his neck. Then he’s somehow free, kills Busta, and now it’s just he and Sarah. Sarah runs down to the basement, making one bad decision after another.

Tyra’s Dead. I didn’t realize that whole video surveillance setup was inside the house. That’s a big fucking house!

Sarah finds a chainsaw that for some reason has gas in it and still works and somehow a fire starts. Busta Rhymes is back, again. Rappers never die in these films, which woulda made more sense had it been Tupac playing one of the parts. He electrocutes Michael’s nuts while saying terrible line after terrible line until Michael is dead. As usual, after everything is over, the cops arrive. Busta Rhymes has a super annoying rant to the cops and reporters right after saying that Michael Myers is not a sound byte.

15 years later, this is still the conclusion of the original series, yet Michael opened his eyes at the end.

I hate to do this, but the Badass Award goes to Busta for actually being effective and staying alive. It must have been in his contract that if he did this film, he had to be the hero. He also wins the Gilligan Award for setting up this whole thing in the first place.

Sidenote: You could make a beer drinking game out of how many times I've said somehow in the review of this series.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t be on reality television.

2) Don’t go up to the roof!

3) Don’t just drop Michael Myers off in the morgue with someone alone.