Tonight I’ve brought a few “favorites” to the table, kiddies. By that I mean movies that folks actually enjoy but that I have found less than stellar. I assure you in advance that it does not meant that I did not enjoy parts if not the entire picture. It does mean that you may require spirits or beers or marijuana to get through one if not all of tonight’s entries in the aneurysm continuum. Remember… in the Blog of Horrors it is perpetually opposite day. Take some time to redefine the term “bad”.
Our first installment in tonight’s AOA is Angel Heart. “How could that possibly be?” you ask. DeNiro. Rourke. Denise Huxtable’s motherfuckin’ boobies on screen. What would Dr. Huxtable say? This movie drags on like Skinamax softcore pornography with a moderately entertaining southern Voodoo centerfold. I’m a guy. I can handle my fair share of coital embraces. Blood raining from the ceiling on one of my childhood icons… Ya, I can take that too. Long drawn out saxophone solos that end in bad dialogue… this I cannot abide.
Gumshoe Harry Angel goes to New Orleans in an attempt to solve a slight contract dispute. P.I. Angel will discover a few things about himself in his travels such as: nothing is as it seems and when the Devil demands payment for services rendered, the only contract lawyer you’ll be able to hire is the Grim Reaper.
Number one reason I probably didn’t like this flick was due to the hype. DeNiro as the devil was no match for Pacino as the devil. Every ounce of hope I had for this picture rested in the performance of two veteran actors who gave me 80’s cheese in the wrong sandwich. A couple of nice effects and a decent rack ain’t gonna sway me. This one even made the Fango 300 which I’m still trying to figure out. Angel Heart is the movie equivalent of putting too much sugar in your Rice Krispies with the over raucous sex scenes set to smooth jazz. If you want a voodoo flick go watch the Believers or Serpent and the Rainbow.
Burial Ground: Nights of Terror
Nights of Terror aka Burial Ground aka Zombie 3 (if this were a game of bullshit now’s the time to scream out BULLSHIT!!!)… I give you a bad zombie movie. Cheap effects. Well worth the watch after a few shots to be certain, but your sober viewer will find it easy on the stomach and boring on the eyes. I suppose this is what happens when you have an exploitation flick that is simply exploiting the genre itself and not a stereotype or group of legally protected in class indivduals. Make zombie movie. Brains! = money (and this is 1981 before Return of the Living Dead is even released).
Plot: Zombies eat people. Fin.
There’s plenty to love in Italian zombie flicks of the mid to early 80’s. There’s bad acting (check). Bad gore or cheap zombie costumes (check). There’s a blatant disregard for plot or narrative in general (check). Absolutely fantastic poster art that bears little resemblance to the film you will watch (check it once and check it twice). Burial Ground doesn’t make any social statements. It isn’t overly funny on purpose and the effects did not innovate anything but new ways to get audiences running out of theatres (due to lack of interest).
Classic line in this one, “No, stay back! I'm your friend!” to a zombie. That probably didn’t work out as he had planned. Great blood, worms and maggots are excellent garnish for good zombie pictures. This one is clearly not as fresh as some of the other corpses in the genre. At least they tried to steer clear of Romero and shot straight for post-Fulci era zombie origins.
Day of the Dead (2008)
So was the plan to put Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon and Ving Rhames in a zombie movie and have their combined star power lift you over the tremendous hurtle that a classic is being knifed in the back? Ride the coat tails of the Dawn of the Dead remake to box office success with big names and some semi-gloss effects? The worst part about this picture is that I enjoy Mena Suvari. I enjoy Ving Rhames’ man –of-action cheeseball acting. I like watching the rest of the actors put themselves on a hamburger bun for the brain eaters.
What I dislike is trying to use the name Day of the Dead to take us veteran zombie fans back to the mid 80’s when Romero was doin’ good for horror. What I dislike is a complete annihilation of the original story in spite of Dawn of the Dead’s more strict adherence to the original Romero picture. I feel like they took a bunch of camp horror movie references aimed at distracting the audience from your flick and then dish us unsophisticated zombie drivel in the name of the Shakespeare of zombie pictures. Makes me fit to plate the director’s brains for the dinner rush.
You know what the bullet in the head truly is for this zombie picture? Steve Miner directs it! Steve Miner who brought us Friday the 13th pt. 2. Steve Miner who gave us Halloween: H20. Steve Minor should have called in sick for this shoot.
B movie or D Cup? This one’s like walking into a strip club only you were under the impression you were walking into a McDonald’s (Play Place, Happy Meals, Tangy Barbeque sauce). You attempt to order a number 13 value meal, large, coke no ice. You wait around for a bit. You wonder if they forgot about you. Clear your throat a couple times and then some kid in a funny hat brings you a slightly overweight stripper, covered in peanut oil and branded with a giant, golden arch “M” on her chest.
If for whatever reason that doesn’t make sense to you, then you didn’t watch the movie at all. There’s something repulsive in the use of gel/gelatin to cover a man in thongi-ish underwear that has clear resemblance to fast food. And if you still need more details on this gem, ripe for the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 treatment then the $50,000 price tag on this picture should help you figure it out.
This is truly a classic low budget horror comedy at its finest. The dialogue will have you and your drunken friends filling in the blanks like it’s a Mad Lib. And if one sloppy fun film isn’t enough for you there’s a newly released sequel with which to gargle this gooey mess down. This is the movie equivalent of “the shocker”… protect your backsides and enjoy the ride.
Again, These are not movies that I despise. The opinion I have them is that they either do not live up to their hype, are true mission to Planet B or may be considered more humorous than horror and not intentionally at that. Bad means good and good means bad. Do not watch any of these without an emergency six pack or fire extinguisher filled with pixy stick sugar. Please enjoy responsibly.
-Dr. Jimmy Terror