Studio 666 (2022) is good dumb fun


According to Dave Grohl, this movie happened because whilst recording the Foo Fighter’s tenth album he had an idea to do a very cheap slasher video about the band and the studio, like a little youtube home movie, and then suddenly there were millions of dollars in production money and John Carpenter doing the soundtrack. I’ve got no way of knowing if it’s true or marketing hype, but I imagine that kind of thing happens a lot in his world and it probably explains why this film exists. It also explains why it can only exist because the Foo Fighters are in it, and why this ends up being “A Hard Days Night” done by Hooper and Craven.
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Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is an okayish disappointment.

If psychotronic cinema, or, when you get down to it, any cinema, is about experience then The Texas Chain Saw Massacre must be one of the greatest movies of all time. It is an unrelenting, exhausting, almost total-body experience; be it during its moments to shocking terror, its nightmarish social observations, its frequently disjointed surrealist turns, or its nihilistic horror spectacular. Even its soundtrack, which for the final third of the movie is dominated by the constant screams of its Final Girl being dredged through a stygian hellscape, is an emotive and evocative tour de force.

Obviously, it’s not to everyone’s tastes and the bulk of its greatness comes from pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, seeking to indulge the worst excesses of exploitation cinema, budget and talent constraints, and just plain dumb luck. But it is a singular, majestic vision that few have come close to matching. Especially its sequels, which for the most part cranked up the gore they thought was in the original and pissed away the cultural commentary that they clearly thought was an irrelevancy. So, when I heard (in the same week it was being released) that Texas Chainsaw Massacre* was coming out I was filled with indifference towards it.

Then I spotted it on Netflix, draped across the front page as its big welcoming offering, and it was Friday night and it would be rude not to.
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Grandmother’s House (1989)


It’s time for some more 80s horror, and this one is the directorial debut of Peter Rader! You know, the guy who then went on to be one of the people who wrote Waterworld. It stars no one I’ve ever heard of, is a title I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere, and seems to be one of those strange “aimed at teenagers, but just that bit too violent for them to see it” movies like The Gate. Still, it’s not a strong cover and is juxtaposing something nice with the promise of being terrifying so let’s crack this open!
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The Kitchen (2019)


It’s big, it’s glitz, it’s starting three people I’ve heard of, and I only found out about it by it jumping up on Amazon Prime: yes, it’s another “as far as I know it’s straight to VoD” roll of the cinematic dice. I don’t normally watch gangster films, as they never catch my eye. So if one does make me interested I feel compelled to give it a go, because it deserves points for trying. Also, I really like the leads but would never have thought of putting them together like this.

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Killer Pinata (2015)


There is a grand tradition in the horror genre of random and ridiculous things getting possessed; Cars , Sofas , even lamps have been so afflicted, to varying levels of success. So let’s skip giggling at the pretext (even though it is joyfully stupid) and instead giggle at how funny this micro-budget comedy-horror is. Also, at how wonderfully messed up some of the ideas in this film are, as this is an effortlessly inventive bit of nonsense.
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The Creation Of The Humanoids (1962)


Roll up, for an amazing example of what a psychotronic masterpiece of B-Movie filmmaking can be. Because I can’t remember the last time such a godawful film held my attention so utterly. This 1962, Wesley Barry directed, lump of sci-fi cheese swings between the profound and the pathetic faster than the Theremin vibrates in the soundtrack, and is worth every rotten minute of its nippy 75 minutes run time.
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Santa And The Ice-Cream Bunny (1972) is a surreal, kid friendly, nightmare


If some films have red flags you can see a mile off, this film has enough for a United Communist Countries parade. Firstly it was written, directed, filmed, scored, and edited by one person; Richard Winer. Secondly, it was mostly used as a promotional vehicle for, specifically a regional amusement park (Pirates World in Florida). Thirdly, about half of it is made up for repurposed footage from another project, bulking the two out to something that can hit the magical 90 minutes run time marker. Combined, and the results should be terrible. Well, they are. But underneath that, there is a layer of amazing that no one, including the makers, intended there to be.
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Black Christmas (1973) Is A Chilling Horror Classic


This has been on the “important genre film to watch when time is found” stack for a while, because as the alleged inspiration for Halloween, the film that spawned the 80s Slasher craze, it’s one you’ve got to see even if it is a low-budget indie. So, because it’s coming up to Christmas, it got scheduled as a watch-along and we sat down for a bit of snark-along exploitation cinema. Which meant we were totally unprepared for what we ended up watching.
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Theatre Of Blood (1973) Is Wickedly Watchable

Not quite sure how I didn’t know that Vincent Price and Diana Rigg started in a film together and that they both considered it some of their finest work. Probably something to do with Theatre Of Blood being a modestly budgeted British film, done half a century ago, and them having over 250 screen credits between them. The important thing is that I watched it as soon as I found out about it, and by reading this So Can You!
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