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Michi
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by Michi Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:24 pm

Flesh Eating Mothers
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A quiet suburban neighborhood is turned upside down one day when all the nice, normal mothers suddenly start inexplicably deciding that everyone around them looks deliciously yummy. It’s up to a renegade cop, a suspiciously short medical examiner and the all the murderous mothers’ teenage offspring (at least the ones who were smart enough to run away) to find out why these women suddenly went Donner Party on everyone’s asses.

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See, this could have all been avoided if you’d just put the dishes in the dishwasher, but nooooooo…..

Unlike The Hooker Cult Murders, the content of this movie is exactly what the title makes it out to be: Mothers go cray-cray and start eating people. Why are they doing this? Well, turns out it’s the effect of a virus. And how did they get this virus? Why, from an STD, of course!

Yes, turns out Flesh Eating Mothers is a morality tale. This isn’t unusual for zombie-ish films, but instead of trying to make a point about commercialism, or how the lack of communication and cooperation causes collapse, Flesh Eating Mothers’s theme is much more simple: adultery is bad, y'all. And to illustrate the consequences of said adultery the film afflicts all adultresses with the compulsive need to commit yummy infanticide. Why, you may ask, are only the woman affected? Turns out that men are carriers, but the virus only affects women who have bore children. How the virus knows this, I do not know.

Also, I say ‘men,’ but I should say ‘man’, because like other zombie movies, really the whole thing is caused by one idiot making very poor decisions. In this film that man’s name is Roddy (sigh), and that poor decision would be porking every woman in the neighborhood on the pretext of going for a jog....several times a day….much to his loving wife’s confusion.

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In a movie about mothers eating their young, perhaps the scariest thing the movie proposes is that more than one woman found this dufus attractive.

Yes, Roddy is an unpleasant asshole of the highest caliber and deserves the grim fate he gets by the end of the movie. But just about everyone in this movie is unpleasant and being on top of the asshole totem pole doesn’t mean that everyone below you on the totem pole is any less of an asshole. Most of the women are spiteful, gossipy, cheating alcoholics. The men are either also cheating or wife-beaters. The police commissioner knows what’s going on and is trying to cover it up because...reasons. The police themselves are incompetent. Well, except for that one who keeps murdering civilians, he’s doing a crackerjack job. The doctor’s an arrogant prick who lets the virus spread. There’s a nurse who flagrantly ignores patient confidentiality laws. Then there’s an icecream truck driver with a wandering eye who’s clearly robbing the cradle. And as for the kids….well, okay, most of them are just annoying, dumb teenagers, so I guess I’ll let them slide since they weren’t actively trying to kill everyone.

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For the most part…

Even with all the flagrant flesh eating, the movie does a poor job of actually explaining what the mothers turn into. While they are cannibals, they have little else in common with your typical walking dead. They don’t rot for one, because, well, they’re not actually dead. And since they’re not dead, they don’t lose any of their cognitive abilities. So even when they’re on the way to root around in the trash looking for a cat to eat (not kidding), they’re still going about their day, gossiping about someone, making plans for the next day or complaining about how it sucks to leave the house and forget whether or not you turned the iron off. The only other things the virus does, other than give them the creepy munchies, is grant them super strength (which they use sporadically) and gradually transform them into something that looks like what would result if a comepletly shit-faced Joker had a drunken one-night-stand with a chimp.

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Gah!

Which brings me to the effects. They’re...not great. Even with a body count of 12 there’s very little gore, with the really good bit being saved for the end. Though the film isn’t a slouch in the blood department. You do see the mothers eat plenty of people, but most of it involves vague movements that suggest they’re eating someone (accompanying slurping sounds and all), rather than them actually eating them. Except when it involves someones arm. These women eat so many arms that I’m pretty sure arm bites are the main cause of death in this film. I suspect it was the only limb prop they could afford. They spent the rest of their money on making a prop head with an unhinged jaw for one of the mothers.

They used it twice.

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What, you wanted fake creepy heads for all the mothers? Money for this kind of artistry doesn’t grow on trees, you know!

Then there’s the acting….If you can call it that. People don’t really act in this movie, they mostly just spew recited lines. Badly. It’s really not a shock to find out that many of the people involved with this film went on to do little else. For the most part, everyone is either underacting or overacting. And the people who come across as at least putting some effort into it don’t seem to know what they’re doing. The medical examiner, for instance, doesn’t sound like he knew what words to emphasise, so he just emphasises them all and thus constantly sounds like he’s on the verge of shouting. At everyone. All the time.

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Or maybe it’s just repressed anger from being so much shorter than everyone else.

So, did I like Flesh Eating Mothers? Surprisingly, yes. Sure, the acting is atrocious and the sets look only slightly better than a community theatre production, but if you couldn’t tell by the title, the whole thing is just campy fun. This is not a movie where everyone was trying to make something awesome and failed miserably. This is a movie where everyone knew exactly what kind of crack film they were making and want you to be in on the joke. There is an undercurrent of casual misogyny here that I found a bit annoying (that seems to be a theme this year), but for the most part this is just a movie that’s trying to have fun. If you enjoy some campiness with your horror, you could do worse than Flesh Eating Mothers.

Flesh Eating Mothers is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:12 pm

On Friday night, my wife and I watched Apostle (2018) a brand-new action/horror film on Netflix. It is about a missionary who returns to England after the Boxer Rebellion to discover that his sister has been kidnapped by a cult and is being held for ransom. The cult lives on an island off the coast, and since it’s crops have been failing, it needs the ransom money to buy food. The missionary sneaks onto the island pretending to be a convert, and he soon encounters the cult’s charismatic leader, his gorgeous daughter, his brutal enforcers, and several medieval torture devices. Also, there is a man with a bandaged face who feed blood to an old woman bound in vines. There are spears, shotguns, and action so visceral it rivals the gore in most horror films. In the end, however, it is more action than horror in keeping with its drector’s pedigree and its aesthetic inspiration. (As I wrote earlier, it is directed by Gareth Evans, who directed The Raid, and intentional or not, it looks a lot like Resident Evil 4). I still really enjoyed it, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a really cool, unique action film.


prfsnl_gmr’s Petrifying September Pre-Game of Putresence
1. The Killer Bats (1940) - :)
2. Under the Skin (2014) - :)
3. Burn Witch, Burn! (a/k/a Night of the Eagle) (1960) - :D


prfsnl_gmr’s Horrifyingly Haunted October Horror House
1. Scream 4 (2011) - :D
2. Dog Soldiers (2002) - :)
3. Play Misty for Me (1971) - :)
4. The Sadist (1963) - :D
5. Duel (1971) - :)
6. The Perfume of the Lady in Black - :D
7. Apostle - :)
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by Nemoide Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:10 pm

Yesterday was Dismember the Alamo at the Alamo Drafthouse theater! This year it was six back-to-back horror films on 35mm, but the programmer chose shorter films so it ended up only being about 10 hours rather than the 12-13 I was expecting.

Here's what I watched:
Dolls - this film has a pretty iconic poster/VHS box cover that I remember seeing in my local video store as a kid but actually saw it before. The film focuses on a little girl on vacation with her father and mean stepmother as they end up taking shelter from a storm in a creepy old house owned by a dollmaker. Surprise surprise, the dolls are alive and kill people! TBH it was pretty fun! Directed by Stuart Gordon and produced by Charles Band; I'd say it's a bad film for Gordon and a good film for Band. I'd rank it above Puppet Master and is kind of fun, but is definitely on the lightweight/campy side of things. It's a pretty decent, fun, 80s horror film.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) - this movie has a great title and is famous for being one of the early pre-Halloween slasher films. It recounts incidents involving a real-life serial killer who attacked folks Texarkana, Texas and Arkansas. It's from the director of The Legend of Boggy Creek and... yeah, it's similar. This movie is pretty rough, tonally uneven with some goofy comedy elements mixed in with the horror stuff. But it felt pretty dull and really hasn't aged well. It makes me appreciate the original Halloween even more than I did before. I've heard good things about the more recent movie that shares its name (kind of a spinoff-sequel?) though and would like to give that a go at some point.

Of Unknown Origin - wow, from the title I was expecting this to be a movie about aliens. But no, it's about a guy (played by Peter Weller of Robocop fame) who has a rat in his house. And it becomes nuts, with characters talking about how rats spread disease, climb into toilets through pipes, can chew through concrete and lead, etc. Meanwhile the rat itself is HUGE, sometimes looking like a medium-sized dog. It's craft and vicious and the movie kind of plays like "what if Mouse Hunt was a horror film?" - I loved it! It's my new favorite rat-movie.

The Velvet Vampire - we got to see Quentin Tarantino's private print of this! It's a 1970s vampire film set in southern California about a sexy lady vampire who invites a couple to her place in the desert to seduce them and suck their blood. The movie's on the sleazy side (which is fine with me) but very well made technically, with great costumes and style. I'm normally not a huge fan of vampire films, especially ones that don't have Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing, but this one was good! I'd say it's better than Blacula (which I'm also a fan of) and FAR better than County Yorga, Vampire (which I'm not a fan of).

Sleepwalkers - One big problem with this movie I need to say right off the bat: it doesn't have any sleepwalking! Instead, it's a 1990s Stephen King adaptation that's about a mother/son who are incestuous cat-demons who suck the life out of people to prolong their own life and also hate actual cats. Madchen Amick of Twin Peaks fame stars as their main intended victim and is pretty good! This movie's dumb, but I thought it was a good dumb and is certainly pretty wild. A lot of cat-stuff and since I'm a fan of cats (but can stomach considerable violence against them in a movie) I thought that was a big plus.

Anguish - I liked watching this movie, but I'd never want to rewatch it and would only recommend it if you're seeing it in a theater. The movie starts off showing Michael Lerner as a murderous eye doctor and Zelda Rubinstein as his controlling mother who hypnotizes him and has some sort of psychic control over him... BUT WAIT, at a certain point, the movie pulls back and reveals that all of that is actually a movie that an audience are watching. One young girl in particular is freaking out and feeling sick from all the violence... but then an actual killer starts terrorizing THAT movie theater! The effect is pretty interesting. The movie-in-a-movie will have long hypnotic sequences which seemed aimed at the audience (us, the REAL audience), and in that movie the killer goes into a movie theater for victims, as audience for THAT movie (ie not the real audience) are terrorized in their theater. It kind of works at building a different sort of horror and gets meta as the horror is about the horror of an audience experiencing one type of horror as they watch another audience experiencing horror, inspiring the REAL audience to experience horror.
I wouldn't say it ENTIRELY works, but I liked it well enough!

That was it for Dismember the Alamo; the audience got a souvenir glass and patch which was awesome. I also picked up some VHS tapes (Frankenstein: A Cinematic Scrapbook, Monster on the Campus, Space Camp, and Jellyfish: Gone Jellyfishin') along with a VHS collector fanzine and some B-52s 45s.

Somehow I'm not totally burnt out, so today I watched Hostel which I haven't seen before. I heard the premise of it and it didn't really interest me and to be honest... I think I was kind of right about my preconceived notions of what it is. Some tourists (two Americans and an Icelandic guy) are backpacking through Europe, looking to smoke pot and have sex, generally being jerky tourist types. They hear about a hostel full of super-hot women who LOVE having sex with Americans, so they go... only to find that the hostel is an elaborate ruse to kidnap foreigners so that wealthy folks can torture/kill them. Honestly, it's not on the extreme side of splatter films, I can think of other films that are more bleak, sadistic, and gory; though it is gorier than most major Hollywood films. The movie seems to be saying something about gender politics, how Americans are seen in the world, how little consideration we give to certain service industry professionals (ie sexworkers)... but I'm not entirely convinced that what it's saying is especially brilliant, just that there's room to unpack things.
Last edited by Nemoide on Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:52 am

That sounds awesome. Great post.

Also, the 2014 version of The Town that Dreaded Sundown is really solid. Now that you’ve seen the original, you should check it out. I think it is available for streaming on Amazon.
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by Michi Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:41 pm

Nemoide wrote:The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) ...I've heard good things about the more recent movie that shares its name (kind of a spinoff-sequel?)

It's a sequel in that it references the first film...as a film. They reference the movie multiple times and at one point, I believe they show it at the drive-in. But at the same time it's almost a remake, as it mirrors certain scenes from the first film. So, it's a sequel/remake to a movie that was a pseudo-documentary of real-life events.
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by Michi Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:48 pm

Sleepstalker: The Sandman’s Last Rites
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You sure it’s not Mudman? No? Alright.

Thanks to some quick thinking by the local police, a young boy named Griffin becomes the sole survivor of a crazed serial killer known only as The Sandman. Seventeen years later Griffin is a grown man whose nightmare is about to come to an end: The Sandman is set to be executed. But that dream gets shot to hell thanks to the interference of a VooDoo priest who brings The Sandman back to life as an immortal being made of actual sand. The only hitch in his new transformation is that in order to keep his new body he has three days to kill his one remaining link to the mortal realm. Turns out that it’s Griffin. Good luck, Griffin.

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You’ve seen the long, extended car ride scene over the opening credits, but let me introduce you to black trench coat wearing idiot walking
through a desert scene.


Sleepstalker feels like a low-budget rip-off of Elm Street, but without the actual dream-stalking angle. The Sandman (he’s never given a name) is thusly named because after he kills his victims he sings a lullaby and puts sand in their eyes, because, you know, Sandman myth and all. After he’s turned into a literal being of sand (would not have been my element of choice, but okay), he gains the great supernatural powers of...sand. Yeah, having lame sand powers is bad enough, but what’s worse is that the movie doesn't even let him utilize it like he could. I mean, their budget was so low that they had him kill the first guy by throwing him off a roof. How sad is that? Plus, we don’t even get to see him even throw the guy off. It happens off camera. Double lame.

Thankfully, he does get a couple more inventive sand kills later on, but that still doesn’t change the fact that his element is sand and sand has its drawbacks. Namely extreme heat and water. Well, mostly water. Oh! And sunlight, for some inexplicable reason. Dude’s got to deal with a lot crap that really limits his murderin’.

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For once, the shower is the safest place for a woman to be in a horror movie.

This being a low-budget 90s horror movie involving a monster made of sand made me very wary of how the effects would be handled. I was expecting a cringeworthy assortment of crappy CGI sand effects, but thankfully this film seems to have saved most of its money on practical effects, reversed film and clever camera angles to get its point across. Please note that I said most of their money, because of course this is the 90s, so they had to throw at least one cringy special effect and a bad green screen in there about halfway through just to piss me off.

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*Openly weeps* And you were doing so well…..

But thankfully those moments were the exception and not the norm, so I’ll try not to judge them too harshly. Not that that means that the other effects were super awesome or anything, but at least they weren’t CGI sanddick aweful.

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Okay, they did have one cool moment when he was literally formed from sand, but that was it.

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As for the actors, they’re all perfectly serviceable. They’re no one here that particularly stands out in any way, good or bad. Most of the characters are pretty bland and boring, actually, so they didn’t really have to try too hard. The worst offenders are probably the roommate and the friend of the love interest. But they have little screen time and are just there to be sand-fodder anyway. I was honestly more entertained by the side characters. For some reason the movie saw fit to give them the best one liners. Maybe if they’d saved some for the main characters they would have been more interesting.

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Or maybe the writers couldn’t stand giveing any good material to the obvious pre-hipster hipsters.

In the end, I really don’t have too much to say about Sleepstalker. It winds up being a perfectly fine run-of-the-mill supernatural slasher that has just enough interesting bits to keep it from being totally bland. The acting is fine, the characters are fine, the dialogue is fine, the sets are fine, the effects are (mostly) fine, the whole thing is just...fine. And while it’s not at all scary, it does include a very disturbing backstory for the antagonist. It’s greatest crimes are that there are too many subplots and that the villain tends to be a little to talky and maybe not menacing enough. The one thing it may really have going for it is its music, which includes a ‘lullaby’ track that is freakishly haunting and frequently played throughout the film. It may be the creepiest thing in the movie. You can listen to it here. And no, I don’t suggest playing it for your kids before bedtime.

So if you’re looking for a supernatural slasher to fill the void that Freddy left, I guess Sleepstalker wouldn’t be too bad of a choice.

Sleepstalker is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:46 pm

The Fall of the House of Usher (1950) is a pretty much the worst adaptation of my favorite Poe story. Avoid it, even if it’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The best thing about it is it’s 61 minute running time.

prfsnl_gmr’s Petrifying September Pre-Game of Putresence
1. The Killer Bats (1940) - :)
2. Under the Skin (2014) - :)
3. Burn Witch, Burn! (a/k/a Night of the Eagle) (1960) - :D


prfsnl_gmr’s Horrifyingly Haunted October Horror House
1. Scream 4 (2011) - :D
2. Dog Soldiers (2002) - :)
3. Play Misty for Me (1971) - :)
4. The Sadist (1963) - :D
5. Duel (1971) - :)
6. The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974) - :D
7. Apostle (2018) - :)
8. The Fall of the House of Usher (1950) - :(
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by Nemoide Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:11 am

The Purge: Election Year is (obviously) the most political of the Purge movies, and IMO it's also the best of the first three (I haven't seen The First Purge yet).
The Purge movies have always been an allegory for American politics with a heavy left-leaning message. The wealthy want the poor eliminated so they don't need to spend tax dollars on a social safety net and simultaneously pad their pockets by selling Purge-security systems or the like. The first film was very low-budget and minimalistic, largely set within one house, focused on one family. The second film is BIGGER but not necessarily better. This movie expands on the ideas from the first two and puts the exaggerated political message right in your face. There's a political candidate who's strongly anti-Purge, so this year they lift the ban on killing government officials so that she can be targeted. This movie doesn't do anything too surprising, but it does what it does pretty well.
While the movie is careful never to make explicit political statements, it seems pretty clear that the good guys are liberals and the bad guys are conservatives. I feel like getting too into the specifics might upset some folks; I know political discussion is frowned upon and this is just a horror-movie thread, so I'll stop there! But it sends its message pretty clearly and is consistently entertaining too. If you at all liked either of the first two Purge movies, I'd recommend this one.
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by GSZX1337 Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:39 am

I finally got off my duff and made that list of similarities between Dark Seed and Phantasmagoria. Here's what I've found they have in common other than the obvious:
    They both are noteworthy for their graphics. Phantasmagoria is obviously noteworthy for its full-motion video tech, and Dark Seed is so because of its artist, H.R. Giger. Dark Seed also runs at a higher resolution than its contemporaries, making them both technically impressive.
    They're both set in new homes recently purchased by the games' protagonists. Additionally, the houses reside in towns unfamiliar to the player. Navigating the dwellings as well the towns is a major gameplay element.
    Mirrors are key in these games with Phantasmagoria's mirrors show the heroine the tragic ends of her predecessors, while Dark Seed's single mirror transports the protagonist to another world where he might meet his own tragic end.
    Both titles play like LucasArts adventures despite Phantasmagoria being made by Sierra. They both are lite on the deaths with Phantasmagoria reserving all of them for the end-game in a manner that prevents reloading. I haven't encountered any dead ends in Phantasmagoria, and Dark Seed's dead ends are mitigated by the game's short length. They both implement hints given by otherworldly entities.
    Sex is obviously a prominent aspect in Dark Seed, a game with art from H.R. Giger, but it's also evident in Roberta Williams's Phantasmagoria. Additionally, both games have their protagonists raped with Phantasmagoria's Adrienne raped by her husband in the fourth chapter, and Dark Seed's Mike is raped in Giger fashion. That fashion being having an alien rip a vaginally shaped hole into his head and receiving a load from a long protrusion. Neither game takes prisoners in this regard.
    I probably shouldn't have been, but I was surprised at the brevity of these two titles. I was expecting an FMV title to be absolutely turgid and Dark Seed to be about as long as some of Sierra's Quest games, but both games took about as much time as Loom. That is to say, not long enough to wear out their welcome.
    Both player characters are also writers, which might be a nod to Stephen King.

I can list more, but I think I'll stop at lucky 7. I know these similarities are mostly down to tropes associated with the genre, but I still find it interesting that two games that are developed so differently also had so much in common.

As for the movies I should be talking about instead of clogging this thread with games, I'm thinking about seeing the new Halloween despite not seeing any Halloween films except for the original. Also, apparently Netflix lists Blade as horror, so I think I'll finally watch that. I remember hearing a bit about it back in '98, but I never realized how important to film history it was until Red Letter Media covered it in their re:View series.
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Re: Racketyboy Month of Horror 9: The Axis of Sorta Evil

by Ziggy587 Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:59 am

I've been kinda sick for a while, so I haven't been watching as many movies. Nor posting in this thread. But last weekend I did manage to watch two...

Pet Semetery

The Lost Boys

Two more that I can cross off my shame list.
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