[Month of Horror] Blackbird, In Vaulted Halls Entombed, Chainsaw Maid

Blackbird

In Vaulted Halls Entombed

It’s probably telling that I watched both of these and honestly considered not mentioning either of them

Blackbird is about an amnesiac who rescues a woman who’s running from the masked man who held her prisoner. Which probably tells you all you need to know about the “shocking twist” at the end of the film.

In Vaulted Halls Entombed, meanwhile, follows a group of soldiers entering the wrong cave. It was a part of the Love, Death, and Robots cable series, and thus was very well animated. It, also, was very, very dull. That I read the story it was based on probably didn’t help matters. Though let’s also consider I’ve watched Deep Red multiple times and still felt a thrill with that.

So, anyways, both films are well produced, well acted, and, honestly? The stories on the surface aren’t that bad.

It’s just both of them came off as lifeless as hell.

In Vaulted Halls Entombed is the worse in this regard. I watched people torn a part and I. Just. Didn’t Care. It was boring. Not something I associate with the series it’s a part of. Well, more or less.

Both I’d say were good flicks (1.5) that I’m very meh about.

Blackbird:
2.5 out of 4

In Vaulted:
2.5 out of 4

Chainsaw Maid

Now in comparison, take this short, which I watched between the previous two (I had such high hopes for In Vaulted Halls Entombed) It’s a badly animated clay flick about a maid defending the people she works for from the Undead. It has absolutely no dialogue, its plot is an excuse for a series of clay gore effects, and it steals music from Twin Peaks. It is as goofy as hell with no scares whatsoever.

This one I love to death.

Really.

It’s the bomb.

Before the reboot, this was my most linked video by far. Seriously, it wasn’t even close.

In fact, let’s get that merry-go-round started right now:

I adore this movie.

Does it say something about my taste? Probably. It’s still today’s winner by far.

Calling it great is probably pushing it, but I’m doing it anyway. Chainsaw Maid is great (2.0). I love this little flick (2.0). I does my heart good to see it.

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] First Week Summation

Okay, this first week of the Month of Horror I watched ten films (don’t expect a repeat).

The films were:

  • The Mummy (1932)
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Rood (Short)
  • Eldritch Code (Short)
  • Shinsen (Short)
  • I See You (Short)
  • They Crawl Beneath
  • Deep Red
  • Chopping Mall
  • C.H.U.D.

The average score I dished out last week was 2.95, so as a rule whatever I watched was between good or average. One flick in particular brought the whole thing down. Which is only interesting statisticwise.

Six out of ten were full length films. Two were short films. Two were cartoons.

I gave out three perfect scores. None hit zero. A good thing. For me.

The top three, in order of preference more than quality, were as follow”

  1. Deep Red.
  2. Bride of Frankenstein
  3. C.H.U.D

The worst of the lot was They Crawl Beneath.

The guy who got dumped the hardest: Boris Karloff. Two flicks and he never once got the girl.

Actually, I don’t think Boris ever did get the girl.

Any way, on to the next review.

[Month of Horror] C.H.U.D

C.H.U.D.

Mutated monsters stalk the streets of New York looking for flesh.

I’m going to keep this short, cause I’m writing this past my bed time and I have work tomorrow. But man! What a flick. Watching it back to back with Chopping Mall really shows just how shallow the robot slasher flick was.

Don’t get me wrong. C.H.U.D is every bit as familiar a flick. You got government conspiracies, sleazy reporters, and several plot holes. But everything comes together in a well done little B-Movie.

Great flick (2.0), love it to death (2.0)

4 out of 4

[MONTH OF HORROR] Chopping Mall

CHOPPING MALL

A group of… twentysomething? Teenagers? Any way, they party late night at a mall and get stalked by killer robots.

Anything was going to be a let down after Deep Red, so I went lowest common denominator with Chopping Mall. Just a slasher flick with a trio of rather neat looking robots. An old favorite from a misspent youth.

And you know what? It wasn’t half bad. I got into it fairly well, despite knowing the basic plot. Such as it was. The actors are all veterans of the B-Movie scene. The director did his job. The movie did it’s job.

Now did I wish it was something it wasn’t? Like, say, a slightly smarter, less bog standard slasher flick? Sure. And there are really questionable moments in the films plot. Like just how powerful are the robot’s laser beams again? Sometimes it barely does any damage, sometimes it kills with one hit, and sometimes it blows a girl’s head off, all based on the whim of the script.

Just one example, mind. Other possible beefs exist, and perhaps in a longer review at, say, a review site, I could go into it.

Thing is, it’s just carping. Chopping Mall is what it is, and does what it sets out to do: entertain.

It’s a good flick (1.5) of its sort that I like (1.5)

3 out of 4

[MONTH OF HORROR] Deep Red

As a sort of palate cleanser from the last flick, I picked this one.

If “cleanser” can be used in connection with Deep Red, that is.

Deep Red

A pianist witnesses a horrible murder and investigates the crime, not knowing just how dangerous what he’s trying to do is.

This might be the fourth time I’ve watched this movie. I know the story, at least how it goes and who does what. It should hold no surprises for me. But like so many of my favorite Horror flicks, this one still gets to me.

It’s not without its flaws. But to go into them is to spoil a really wonderful flick. Besides, the good really outweighs the bad.

I did a full review of this film at the sister site, which will return the moment I get my act together regarding it. Bottom line, great flick (2.0) which I really love (2.0).

4 out of 4

[MONTH OF HORROR] They Crawl Beneath

Some Spoilers here. For the record.

They Crawl Beneath

So I saw a trailer for this flick and once I saw it, I knew I had to see it. This guy is repairing an old car with his uncle and an earthquake hits. Car goes on both of them, killing the uncle and trapping the guy not only under the car but in the garage itself. If this isn’t bad enough, there are these worm monsters that came out of the ground. Now the guy has to figure out how to free himself while avoiding the beasties.

It looked beautiful.

So when I saw it was over on Amazon, I knew I had to see it for the Month of Horror.

But it wasn’t free. I could by it outright for about $13 bucks, or I could rent it for about $5.

Now again, I was jazzed about the movie. Looked like it might be up there with Tremors. Monster fun. Something I might watch again and again. So $13 bucks wouldn’t be that big a deal.

But I blinked and decided to rent it instead.

This was the right choice.

The monster stuff was… okay. The acting was… fair. It could have been so much more.

But it got saddled with so much crap. So. Much.

We’re not going to talk about the pointless nightmare sequence at the start of the flick. We’re not going to talk about the plot contrivances, like when Our Hero is unconscious just long enough to miss getting early help. Or like how the monster’s venom is supposed to kill in two hours and it seems to take a lot longer than that for Our Hero. Or… We’re not talking about it. No.

What we are going to talk about is how this film is, at best, 45% monster movie. The rest of it is seemingly endless family drama. The love interest doesn’t want Our Hero to be a cop any more after he almost gets himself shot. The Uncle might be Our Hero’s dad. On and on and on.

Our Hero manages to connect with the outside world with his mom, of all people, and after telling her to hurry and call the Love Interest (never mind why) he confronts her with his discovery of her and the Uncle. That’s when I muted the movie until the monsters returned.

Later he gets in contact with the Love Interest, who passes on information he got earlier in the film. Then, right towards the end of the conversations she says “I’m pregnant.”

This is where I started screaming at the film.

It doesn’t even know when to quit. It just goes on and on and on.

Wow. Just wow.

So glad I didn’t pay full price. Too bad I didn’t wait till it got on Prime.

It’s a near meh level bad (.5) and I didn’t like it at all (.5).

It could have been so much better than this. What a disappointment.

1 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Shinsen/I See You

More shorts. This time the animated variety.

SHINSEN

A young warrior steals food from the wrong shrine.

Coming in at just under three and a half minutes, there’s very little time for anything like character building or plot. Sometimes that’s enough.

In this case, it isn’t. It’s not a bad little short. It’s just too short to be effective with the story it’s trying to tell.

That said, it’s very well animated. So it might not quite deserve the meh (1.0) I’m giving it. Nor does it deserve a good, I think. In any case, I’m kinda meh (1.0) about the whole thing.

2 out of 4

I SEE YOU

A house cleaner finds cleaning a haunted house a difficult task

While a bit light hearted, this little feature does stir up the occasional bits of dread. It has enough time to build up its two characters and was decently animated (sort of stop motion).

Now to be honest I did see the ending coming a little ways before the half way mark. But it’s a nice, charming short that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Of the four shorts I’ve watched for this series, this is the one I’m most likely to rewatch just for the hell of it.

It’s a good short (1.5) that I liked a lot (1.5)

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Rood/Eldritch Code

I don’t have a lot of luck with Short Horror films. They tend to be basic, built around a single moment or scare. When they’re good, they’re very good. When they’re not… they tend to be a waste of time.

But an under an hour waste of time. So it’s hard to complain.

ROOD

Rood tells the story about a man trying to summon a writer through a door. That’s… it. It was an award winning flick, and it’s not badly made. Acting’s fine, it might be a wee bit over directed.

Where we get into problems is with the story. Outside of a book of Lovecraft stories shown in passing, we have no real idea what’s going on. The man has a camera set up, so he wants to record something, but what he hopes to achieve we don’t know. It all wraps up with a jump scare that really doesn’t work.

This isn’t the first time I’ve come across an award winning Horror flick that failed to move me. Wonder what I’m missing.

I’m going to say a low good (1.5) because outside the story its not terrible or anything. Personally, though, I kind of just didn’t care (1.0).

2.5 out of 4

ELDRITCH CODE

An IT guy tries to stop a virus from infecting his company’s computers. A virus named Cthulhu, MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Eldritch Code works far better than Rood. It has more characters, a plot that makes a degree of sense, and while not earthshakingly directed really not bad.

It wears its roots on its sleeves, and while I don’t think it meshes with what Lovecraft wrote, it feels more like a Lovecraft story than Rood did. It’s ending also is less than satisfying, but not, I think, enough to ruin things.

Another low good (1.5), but I liked it a little more (1.5). It’s a part of an anthology series on You Tube called Dust and it made me curious enough to subscribe to see what else they come up with.

So job well done.

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] The Mummy (1932)/The Bride of Frankenstein

When I restarted this site, I said I wasn’t going to do movie reviews here, that I had another place to do that. Well, I changed my mind.

See, the past two years I’ve done A Month of Horror, a series of daily brief reviews covering Horror movies I watched that day. It’s happened almost long enough to be a fun little tradition, and as bad as this year’s been for me, I need a fun little tradition.

So all this month, little capsule reviews. Unlike the previous years, I’m given each a score based on the system I will go back to using on the Review Site when (when!) I start that back up again. Simply put, each film is judge on a two prong basis: Quality (Terrible, Bad, Meh, Good, Great) and Preference (Hate, Dislike, Meh, Like, Love). Each judgement is represented by a number (0.0 through 2.0) and the two numbers are added together for the final score.

Enough nattering. Here’s the reviews.

THE MUMMY (1932)

I went out to a theater to see this one. Not the most ideal viewing experience, as the sound was wonky. Background sounds and music were louder than the dialogue and sometimes things were hard to understand, especially in the beginning. That’ of course, isn’t the film’s fault, but it’s worth pointing out.

Anyways, this was personally viewed as one of the lesser Universal Monster movies before this rewatch. It’s the romance portion; the love-at-first-site trope is a terrible one. Lazy. Unnecessary, in this case.

This watch, though…

In a nutshell, an ancient mummy is revived after centuries and wants to be reunited with his dearly beloved. Unfortunately that dearly beloved happens to be reborn in the body of a pretty young lady who isn’t quite ready for what passes for marriage among the Undead.

All of this is told at a damn fine pace. There’s plot holes galore here and there, but the acting’s fine, the direction’s pretty great to my inexperienced eye, and really, this ain’t lesser anything.

As for the romance… well, let me summarize that in script form:

FRANK: Damn it, Helen, I’ve known you all of three seconds, but I love you! You remind me of a thousand year old corpse I dug up recently!

HELEN: Oh, Frank, you flatterer you! I think I maybe possibly could eventually–

IMHOTEP: [Enters room] I am Ardeth Bey.

HELEN: A MAH-YUN! [proceeds to stare misty eyes at the three century old corpse.]

Seriously, watch Frank fume at this was hilarious. I’d forgotten there was a quasi love triangle here. Plus, they hung a lampshade on how silly it was for Frank to do this. I gave it a pass.

All in all, it’s a good movie (1.5 points) that I liked (1.5 points).

3 out of 4

THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1932)

One of the trailers that played incessantly in front of these films was for Scream 2, of all things. In it, the characters get into a debate about sequels. One guy says that there where plenty of good sequels, and a girl character snottily asks him to name one.

This is the correct answer.

This is so much better than the original. And the original wasn’t a slouch.

Quick summary, the monster survives his near death experience from the previous film and now is on the look out for someone to be his friend. Meanwhile his creator is being hounded by a former teacher to make more monsters.

While this has it’s problems (an unnecessary prologue, like the first film, for starters) it runs at a nice pace. Most of the male character try their hand at eating the scenery (Ernset Thesiger beats Colin Clive here) and the female leads aren’t too shabby for what little they get. It really has a glorious ending, and does the fine job of making me regret put off a rewatch.

So to do the point thang again, it’s a great movie (2.0) that I loved (2.0)

4 out of 4