[Month of Horror] Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters

Yokai Monsters

100 Monsters

An evil landowner pushes his luck once to often and awakens the ire of the Yokai.

Here’s a fun little flick. While I was unable to ascertain whether the title was misleading or not, it does have plenty of monsters in it. Not the best special effects, mind you, but most entertaining nonetheless.

Watching this, I was reminded of Daimaijin, which perhaps isn’t surprising. Not only was this made by the same company, it was directed by the same guy.

Anyways, both this film and Daimaijin follow the same structure in terms of story. The bad guy has a host of henchmen who run rampant across the medieval Japan. They more or less have their way about things until they offend the local supernatural agency. Said supernatural agency then starts acting up, leading to the climax.

Of the two, 100 Monsters is probably the more kid friendly. The monsters are plentiful and come far more frequently than in Daimaijin, which not only has just the one but reserves him completely for the finale. It’s a bit dark. Not too much so, just enough to mention.

Were I to compare the two, though (as if I’m not doing so now), I’d give the win to Daimaijin. There’s an awful lot of padding in this movie, and no real rhyme or reason why which Yokai appears where. The finale, which is deeply satisfying in Daimaijin, doesn’t have the punch.

A tighter structure would have helped enormously. There are also two short stories buried in this movie that should have either been removed or made more a part of the over-all narative.

To summarize, it’s a good flick (1.5). I rather liked it (1.5) and will watch the sequels.

But there’s better variations on this plot out there.

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Vicious

Only one short tonight. Lost track of time.


A young woman comes home one night and finds something bad in her house.

A problem I’ve noticed with a lot of these shorts is lack of context. The protagonist encounters something weird seemingly without rhyme or reason and it’s never explained.

This might seem unfair. There’s not a lot of time to get into things in under, say, fifteen minutes. However, it can be done.

Take Trick or Treat! for instance. It isn’t much longer than Vicious, and yet you know why what happens to the protagonists happens. Oh, not the whole story behind what happens, sure. Enough, though, that it makes a degree of twisted sense.

Here, something bad happens. You don’t know why. And when dealing with the Supernatural, as you are here, an explanation of some sort would be nice.

Carping done. This is a very good short (2.0). My one complaint aside, it does everything right in terms of atmosphere, acting, and all. It was a pleasure watching it (1.5), though I don’t think I liked it quite as much as Trick or Treat! Which makes it feel a little strange that this has the higher rating.

Oh well. Never said the rating system was perfect.

3.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Night Visions: Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs/The Gate/The Backwater Gospel

Night Visions

Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs

A psychiatrist with the ability to absorb the illnesses of his patients comes upon a situation that may be more than he can handle.

Yes, I cribbed that summary from the show’s Wikipedia page.

Yes, I am ashamed of myself.

One confession done, here’s another.

At some point I grew tired of TV shows. Could not force myself to watch them. Told myself something had to give between the reading, the tv, and the videogames, might as well be the TV.

Watching Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs, it occurs to me this apathy started around the same year this series came out.

There is something entirely too familiar about this story. The acting, the direction, I don’t know what. It just felt too much like something I’ve watched a thousand times before. Or struggled to watch a thousand times before.

How bad did it get? Well the episode comes with two stories and I’m only talking about one. How bad do you think it got?

I had a similar problem earlier in the month. I tried to watch an episode of Ghost Story staring Jason Robards (of all people) and I didn’t make the halfway point. Too dull.

Or seemingly dull. Same thing, though, when push comes to shove.

All of this might seem to point towards me carping about Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs. And I did have problems. The script could have used a rewrite, maybe even shortening. Certain parts to my mind didn’t add up. There was entirely too much Luke Perry.




Those, though, might be considered Cullen Carps and discarded. The moment Our Hero begins his latest attempt to help someone on is gripping stuff. Well worth the wait getting there.

In other words, it does it’s job. Maybe not a great episode, but certainly a good one (1.5). I kind of like it (1.5) and might seek out some more. Especially the ones directed by the Great Joe Dante and Not Really That Bad Toby Hooper.

Though I’m not finishing the episode Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs belongs to. That story just ain’t clicking with me at all.

Oh, and Henry Rollins as Rod Serling? Really? Nothing against the guy, but really?

3 out of 4

The Gate

A couple of kids open up a gate to Hell. Typical weekend, actually.

This is yet another one of those films I can slip on and watch anytime and still get a kick out of it. Yeah, the effects can be lame, and yeah, the acting is only just adequate. Watching it this time I thought it would have worked better if it was a wee bit shorter.

And more Italian leaning. If you catch my drift.

But you know what? When it works, it works. It’s funny most of the time, and it has more than a few truly nightmarish moments. The final monster is one of cinema’s best.

It’s a good movie (1.5) that I love (2.0).

Oh, and the Dark Gods as malicious pranksters? I can almost see that.

3.5 out of 4

The Backwater Gospel

An agent of death comes to a backwaters town.

I didn’t like this cartoon short the first time I watched it, and I can’t now say why. It’s perfect, nasty in the way Horror should be nasty.

Great stuff (2.0). But do I love it? Yeah, maybe I do. (2.0)

Oh, and the Undertaker’s smile? Yeesh.

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

The evil Count Regula seeks revenge and immortality.

Not nearly a gruesome as the title makes it out to be. And it opens with a guy getting a mask nailed to his face, then drawn and quatered.

Guy, hell. It’s Christopher Lee, sleep walking his way through the flick. It’s one of his European films, filled with bad dubbing. And, here, trying to channel Mario Bava’s vibes. Fairly well, truth to tell.

It’s not a great flick, and calling it good is probably pushing it. But I’ll do it any way (1.5). Loved my time with this one (2.0).

They don’t make ‘e, like this any more.

3.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Who’s Hungry?/Leave/Run

For the record, I also watched There’s a Man in the Woods again. Take that for what it’s worth.

Who’s Hungry?

A brother and sister run after the wrong ice cream truck.

This is a very charming little animate short. No dialogue, just action, and it really doesn’t waste time. I didn’t find it scary or particularly thrilling, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. I looked up Horror Short Anime Film and this popped up with the other suggestions that didn’t look like anime. It might have just been made to entertain.

Well it succeeded. It’s pretty good (1.5) and I rather liked it (1.5).

3 out of 4


A doomed tree grove takes steps to save itself.

This short shares problems with a lot of other shorts. All it is is a single scare, built up to, then executed. It feels more like the start of something rather than a complete whole.

Which would be okay, I guess, had it been scary. It wasn’t. Nicely shot, a little too dark, and one hopes the film makers move on to better things.

Two mehs. I dunno if I should put the numbers in or not. But you get the idea.

2 out of 4


A man goes into the woods in search of a missing woman.

Then there’s this flick.

It’s shot on a Go-Pro on a head rig and shows. It’s antagonist makes no sense; there are whole scenes that that make no sense. Is this something the man is actually seeing? A recording? What?

What dialogue it has is written out on screen. Not sure why. All it all, the whole thing has the feel of a Horror Walking Simulator. Just really kind of off putting, especially when the main character refused to move where my mouse told him to.

These are the jokes folks.

That aside, Leave is the better made film. By a large margin.

So why am I giving this a low good (1.5)?

Because Run, nonsensical as it is, does it’s God damn job.

Four freaking jump scares. One I saw coming a mile away and still jumped. It ain’t fine art, but it’ll do until something better comes along.

Seriously, I liked it (1.5) far more than it deserves. If I hadn’t rewatched There’s a Man in the Woods it would have been the best thing I saw today.

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Second Week Summation

Told you no repeat of the ten movie watch. This week I watched eleven. And skipped a day.

The movies are as follows:

  • Blackbird (Short)
  • In Vaulted Halls Entombed (Netflix Show episode)
  • Chainsaw Maid (Animated Short)
  • Deadstream (Feature)
  • Waiting (Animated Short)
  • Dagon (Animated Short)
  • Laura Hasn’t Slept (Short)
  • Withered (Short)
  • 2AM: The Smiling Man (Real Short)
  • This Is Not a Test (Short)
  • The Shrine (Feature)

Note: Unless noted otherwise, the shorts I watch for these reviews are on You Tube. Except for Laura Hasn’t Slept , which has been pulled by Paramount.

Looks like more shorts than features. Not my intent for this series, but real life writes the plot. I’m already doing better for Week 3.

Only two of these were perfects. No film dipped below 2.5 points, which might be an improvement. Depending on where you stand on the matter.

The top three, in order of preference more than quality:

1. (tied) Deadstream/Chainsaw Maid

3. The Shrine.

Though 2AM comes close to edging out The Shrine.

The worst flick I watched would be Blackbird.

Film pushing the Short category to its limit: Dagon. Really, it’s more of an audio with pictures.

Two weeks down. A new week begins…

[Month of Horror] Waiting/Dagon (Short)


Two women wait for a ride in the dark of night.

Short films tend to be hit or miss, but I’ve been finding the cartoons to be more hit than miss. This particular little flick I found on You Tube is no exception to this.

It’s basically animated with no voice acting. Still, it’s a good tale well told (1.5) and I rather enjoyed it. (2.0)

3.5 out of 4


An escaped prisoner of war discovers that he might have been better off not escaping.

This particular short (again on You Tube) really isn’t a movie. What very little animation it has is even more basic than Waiting; the rest is (admittedly well done) drawings inspired by the H. P. Lovecraft story.

The whole thing is showcase for the reading, which comprises I believe the entire text. The reader does a great job with the telling of the tale.

The problem is that Dagon isn’t one of Lovecraft’s best works. First published, not a bad effort, but he gets a lot better.

All said and done, a good effort (1.5). I kind of like it (1.5).

3 out of 4

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


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.

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.


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] 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


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