Friday, February 19, 2016


Frights Group presents...

(The one with action movies.)

Avenging Force (1986) - This is the "real movie" of the bunch. It was made by the right honorable Cannon Films and not a pack of suicidal yahoos like our usual stock-in-trade. Appears Dudikoff has to roll into the forest and mash some heavily armed Republicans who are pulling some "Most Dangerous Game" shit on immigrants and whatnot.

Death Promise (1977) - We were supposed to watch this a while back and people were like, "Naw. This crosses the line. Too shitty." Well, gentlemen, the reprieve is over and this shit's still here. It's time to FACE THE PROMISE.

Final Score (1986) - Look, goddammit. I had to order this thing from the goddamn Netherlands on goddamn DVD -- not even Blu-ray. It's never been released in the U.S. in any form -- probably cause it's so goddamn good. Point is, I've already decided it's awesome no matter what. We're all gonna watch it and say it was worth it as hell. On the encouraging side, we watched a film by this director (his full name: Arizal) called The Stabilizer a few years back and it had people crashing through windows on motorcycles in like every other scene.

Kill Squad (1982) - From the director of Parole Violators (see below). Sean Donahue is in there too, way down the credits list, presumably just wearing different wigs and playing every henchman who gets violently disrespected against a car.

Parole Violators (1994) - We watched it last night. It fucking owned. Sean Donahue will take a fall from any height as long as there's a nice soft derelict vehicle around to catch him. Basically there's Buster Keaton and there's this dude. Highest rating.

Road to Revenge (aka GetEven) (1993) - In the early 90s, a trial lawyer named John De Hart decided he could no longer go on depriving action cinema of his ample charisma and physical prowess. So he got out his fucking checkbook. And an infamous brain melt was born. Check yourselves before this one, gentleman. Truly: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."


Friday, October 2, 2015


Frights Group presents...


Try not to get any on you.

Berserker (1987) - This was one of those where it comes across my desk and I'm like, "OH SHIT! I remember that box art! That's in." Subsequently dug a little deeper and learned it's a slasher with a killer who wears a bear snout. So yeah, this'll work fine. ***Slasher

Cellar Dweller (1988) - I actually somehow rented this as a kid. All I can figure is it was that move where I kept asking if I could rent different horror movies and then on the 30th one, my parents were just like, "Fine. Yes. Whatever. Can we please leave this video store?" Then all the way home I'd be staring at the box getting freaked out thinking, "I'm allowed to watch it. Now what?" My memories of it are vague, but there's definitely a big rubber suit creature. ***Justin's Pick

Graverobbers (aka Dead Mate) (1988) - Oh man. Gotta love the disparity in those two versions of the box art. Somewhere, horror was doing well. Somewhere else, erotic thrillers were doing better. So what is this movie really? Let's find out together. (Don't worry. It has zombies and shit.)

Hard Rock Nightmare (1988) - Look. We'll show pretty much any metal horror film. But even for us, this thing has been way down at the bottom of the pile for the last few years. Then this year I happened to notice that it's from the director of Frights 2014 smash hit Evil Laugh (I don't know how that sorry son of a bitch was a smash hit, but it pretty much was), so that was an immediate front-of-the-line pass.

Satan's Blade (1984) - Ultra cheap slasher ('84 vintage) with satanic overtones and ski lodge setting. We've always done well with ski-lodge-based entries. This is basically a tentpole title. ***Slasher

Silent Madness (1984) - I read as far as, "Homicidal maniac is released from a hospital because of a computer error," and I knew I had to have it. Z-grade slashing + hokey 3-D effects + computer errors. Please note: Frights will not be showing Silent Madness in 3-D, but we will be showing the rare alternate Smell-O-Vision version, where -- per the director's specific instructions -- a dog of a long-haired breed is kept in the room while the film is screened and hosed down every few minutes so the movie smells strongly of a wet dog the whole time. ***Slasher

Mind Melters presents***Soul of the Demon (1991) - This creeps the lineup into the danger zone of the '90s, but it's only '91 and it's homemade by kids who probably started in the '80s. And it's gory and set around Halloween. It's probably the best we've got.

Terrorgram (1988) - I've wanted to show this forgotten anthology for years (the wraparound gimmick is a delivery boy!), but it's never made it past VHS and there aren't any decent looking copies of it. As you may have noticed, however, the standards around here have eroded substantially over the years. So we're doing the ugly, smeary VHS version. It'll be good. What the hell is with that tagline though? I don't get the whole box art really. There's lightning? It should be something like a paperboy launching a severed head at someone's porch. "He delivers terror." Would fly off the shelves. ***Anthology

Witch Story (aka Superstition 2) (1989) - More witches. A shady Italian sequel to Frights landmark Superstition (where that dude's head explodes in the microwave)??? This was a shocking find in this year's Frights research. And it is gonna own. No, it's not. Frights titles from the "I never knew this existed" category have historically blown goats. Anyway, come early this night. It could fill up fast.


Friday, September 26, 2014


Frights Group presents...


It keeps getting worse, but it never dies.


The glue that holds the whole thing together. We've been steeping in the dregs of the slasher genre for so long, we rarely even notice that the shittiness has reached a fucking boil.

Blood Tracks (1985) - A straight-to-video company's strong desire to rip off The Hills Have Eyes + snow + a metal band. I am currently being investigated for not showing this on day one six years ago. Love how the box was amended with that ELM STREET sticker after the fact. Like no one rented this thing for the first two weeks and then they panicked and manufactured a sticker coming at customers all like, "HEY MAN! I'M NOT JUST SOME ASSHOLE!"

Curtains (1983) - We watched this on VHS way back and it looked so dark and blurry that everyone got all pissed off and sleepy. At the end, people were like, "Wait. Who was the killer?" And others were like, "There was a killer?" Pretty much a fiasco. Now the humanitarians at Synapse have poured an unconscionable amount of meticulous effort into reviving the bastard and putting it on Blu-ray so we can finally learn what the hell was going on.

Evil Laugh (1986) - It's called fuckin' Evil Laugh. Do I really need to come up with a joke for this one? Another situation where a movie looks so goddamned perfect for us, the fact that we didn't watch it ten years ago means it must have been hidden really deep under how much it must suck. ***Melissa's pick.


At this point, I think we can all admit that the whole Frights slate is Shitfest. But we still have to keep the actual separate section around. For those special films that, you know, go the extra mile.

Zombie Nightmare (1987) - Cousin production of Frights not-exactly-hits Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare and Black Roses. Even the goddamn tagline on that ad is so shitty it's confusing. I keep reading it thinking I'm missing a joke or something. Like if you put on the They Live sunglasses, the tagline reads, "And here's a zombie tale that you're a dipshit for renting."


These are both Justin's picks. He's crying a little bit cause of fear.

All Hallows' Eve (2013) - This thing came around and I was disrespecting it pretty hard and then I realized it's an anthology and it's set around Halloween and I was like, "Everyone stay away! Some bullshit called ALL HALLOWS' EVE has the upper hand!"

100 Tears (2007) - May I refer you to the poster above? That gets you in now. This film cost like two cents to make and it appears to be wall-to-wall cleaverings. It'll feel a little gross when this ends up being everyone's favorite film on the slate.


The shit. (Not in a good way.)

Chillers (1987) - An anthology with people on a bus telling the stories? Can it possibly touch the majesty of Night Train to Terror??? Of course not. But you know, this achiever does boast a resume including the '89 Silver Scroll. To that I say, "You're hired! You start today!"

Hollow Gate (1989) - How to make a great video box for some garbage: (1) Artwork drawn by a precocious 14-year-old. (2) Tag line referencing characters from real movies of the day (the go-to Freddy and Jason here). (3) Billboarding of a ton of names of people you don't know (total of 13 names you've never heard of prominently featured, including one actor helpfully earmarked with the lynchpin "as Mark"). And (4) Stickers! There was some red business first, later amended/disrespected with the "Rated R" sticker, which rating the sticker kindly clarifies stands for "Restricted," or in other words, "Though this cover may look like it belongs in the children's section, this film is actually intended for manchildren." So excited for this. "When Mark Walters throws a Halloween party..." Hilarious.

Scream Park (2012) - Yeah, this was made like two days ago and I know that's not the kind of shit we like to get behind, but it actually looks kinda regional and funky. And we've watched the entirety of the '80s ten times over. Let's not dwell on this...

Twice Dead (1988) - There we go. See how quickly we get back to the shit you're comfortable with? A nice '88. This has been lurking as a Frights candidate for a long time, but it always seemed like some flowery ghost shit despite the aggro cover. Recently, I learned, however, that in addition to ghosts, it features a marauding '80s biker gang starting shit with good common folk. That's a Frights trope that rarely fails, tangential violent biker characters that let you know a film likes to party. So glad this one finally caught the bouquet.



Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Frights Group presents...


Celebrating five years of movies that should have stayed dead.


Curse of Chucky (2013) - Awww. Chucky's all grown up. He's finally made it--to straight-to-video hell. This is what we at Frights refer to as an "event film." And we get out the fucking tops and tails and the red carpet.


At this point, pretty much all I need is one nutbag in his basement on YouTube saying a slasher is "not 100% unwatchable," and I'm like, "BOOK THAT RIGHT NOW."

House of Death aka Death Screams (1982) - That video box art is like, "This is something a scary teenager drew on his desk in study hall, but it's also a movie. Your move, asshole." Also, no need for a rating. It's rated "Has Everything."

Happy Hell Night (1992) - When you start seeing the '90s dates on the slasher entries, you know you're in deep shit. That said, fraternity kids pranking each other is kind of a sweet spot for Frights audiences and the pitch here (frat initiation night in haunted house + real killer shows up) is so damn classic and crystalline that all we need are some moderately full-flavored death scenes and we'll make it through this just fine. ***Emily's pick.

Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil (1994) - Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou was a hit in the early days of Frights, but since then, we've pretty much been dodging the series' calls (Part 3 won't take the hint that we're not interested). Desperate times, however, sent us crawling back, asking for a little something for old times' sake. We got this and a door slammed in our face. ***Melissa's pick.


It's really just "Mind Melter" (singular) cause this section has been pushing its luck. We always start these things and it gets really tense in the room and people start remembering they left the oven on at home or they have to pick someone up at the airport or whatever.

A Night to Dismember (1983) - It's really an amazing story. This was supposed to be exploitation director Doris Wishman's ripoff of Halloween. But after they shot it, some scandalous shit went down at the film processing lab and more than half of the footage was destroyed. So Doris was like, "We've already pre-sold this thing and I'll be damned if I'm giving the money back," and she went to work molding the surviving bits and pieces into a full movie. And she ended up making something really special. No, she didn't. She ended up making nonsense.


You guys made the mistake of liking Witchboard at last Frights. Now you're gonna smoke the whole pack.

Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway (1993) - The most anticipated sequel in the history of Frights? I have no advance indication of whether or not director Kevin Tenney attempted to change up the aesthetic of Part 1 and have the performances in this entry resemble actual human behavior, but I sure hope he didn't.

Witchery (1988) - Frights history lesson: In Italy, Evil Dead 1 and 2 were titled La Casa 1 and 2. But years before Army of Darkness was even made, some Italian producers hijacked the series and threw together La Casa 3, a film later released in the U.S. as Ghosthouse (a haunted house film of little distinction and a celebrated Frights alumnus). Then it was time for La Casa 4...

The rogue sons of bitches brought in some American marquee value in the form of Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff and made this junkbag, released in the U.S. as Witchery. I don't know about you, but I've worked up a nice lather of excitement just laying all this out. ***Justin's pick.

Witchtrap (1989) - This is one of the more controversial films Frights has ever shown. After Witchboard ruled video store shelves in 1986, director Kevin Tenney was given the proverbial keys to the castle in the straight-to-video horror world. He took the opportunity to force his long-gestating experimental script Witchboobs into production. Despite having always been a reliable and efficient director in the past, Tenney became obsessive and difficult to work with on the set of Witchboobs. He was determined to bring a new level of realism to the story, which involved a macho construction worker type guy who farts on a Ouija Board as a joke at party and subsequently grows witchboobs. The director went so far as to make the lead actor get actual breast implants--reportedly made out of unspecified occult-related materials. (Sidenote: That actor died soon after under gruesome circumstances.) The production went wildly over schedule and over budget. The term "Witchboobs" became a shorthand in the straight-to-video genre film community for "disaster" (e.g., one grip to another on the set of Hellraiser 6: "Looks like we've got a real Witchboobs on our hands."). Needless to say, Tenney was fired, the film was retitled and some hack was brought in to wrap up production and hastily shoehorn in a trap motif. But what ended up-- Nevermind. I made all that up. It's a movie with witches.


A bunch of shit.

Body Melt (1993) - It's called Body Melt. It has practical effects sequences of people melting. I've been saving this for a rainy day, which, look at this lineup--it's fucking pouring. Also, look how beat-on that video box is. Everybody in Australia rented that motherfucker.

The House on Tombstone Hill (1989) - This has been hiding from the Frights selection committee for years behind the awful Troma re-title Dead Dudes in the House. As soon as I learned it's a real movie and it has gore effects by Ed French (Holiday Horrors hall-of-famer Blood Rage, as well as major shit like Terminator 2), I got so excited I started hyperventilating.

Retribution (1987) - Uh oh. Horror of a psychological nature. It's fucked us in the past. I've seen some gore shots from this, though, and they looked pretty juicy. We can keep pushing it to the bottom of the pile and then eventually I'll watch it alone and tell everyone it was better than was. ***Tom's pick

Specters (1987) - Oh man, the Italians again, the knock-off artists that we at Frights love to hate ourselves for loving. They sprung for Donald Pleasance on this one, so we can all save face a little bit. And you know, they open up a tomb or something and...whatever. ***Also Justin's pick.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

JULY '13

Frights Group presents...


This is Frights' substantially less popular action counterpart. But we try it once in a while.


Army of One (1993) - Look at the sizzle coming off of that box art. This thing was like a straight-to-video event film in '93. I was 11-years-old and trying to watch the hell out of it, but the preview was on like every straight-to-video movie around that time and was like, "Lundgren...pulverizing some scumbags...and tapping some ex-model babe in graphic and protracted sequences," and my parents were like, "Whoa. Think we'll skip that one."

Red Scorpion (1988) - We at Frights are big damn fans of director Joseph Zito, he of the itchy, oily slasher The Prowler, the robust Jason outing Friday IV: The Final Chapter, and Chuck Norris' finest hour, the monolithic Invasion U.S.A. So Mr. Zito's Lundgren vehicle on uncut Blu-ray from Synapse is what we in the industry refer to as, "something we should probably show." Look at Lundgren on the box. He looks so pissed. He's like, "Who in the fuck put that dingy sticker on here with a vague message of '1705'? Is that even denoting a purchase price?"


The Annihilators (1985) - So last Holiday Horrors, we were enjoying Silent Night, Deadly Night for the 80th time, and I was commenting on what a singularly sleazy piece of garbage the film was, and Justin was like, "Did this dude ever direct anything else?" The answer to that question, friends, is this you-never-heard-of-it bad boy right here. It's one of those movies where dudes return from combat and shit is even harsher at home, on the streets, and they have to, like, use Vietnam type training on some violent punks. No idea if it's worth a damn, but if it's packing even a fraction of the bad taste on display in SNDN, we're in for a treat. ***Justin's pick

Blue Steel (1989) - Those of you trying to spot the "real movie" in the bunch, look no further. This is directed by Kathryn Bigelow (right the hell before Point Break no less) and none of us have seen it. Jamie Lee Curtis is a lady cop who fights against the formidable villainy of...Ron Silver? Anyway, it'll be, like, well made, so we'll try to save it for a non-drinking night.

Enemy Territory (1987) - This is some low-rent proto-Judgment Night type shit. That's it. That's the pitch. The titular enemy territory is some violent part of the hood. Probably a good title to bet on. Also, you may have already picked this up if you looked close enough at that poster, but this features the song "Dealin' With Life" by the Boogie Boys. So yeah, the pot just keeps getting sweeter with this one.

Eye of the Tiger (1986) - Holy shit, right? Go ahead and zoom in on that poster art and think about the meaning of art for a while. I'm looking at it and feeling like I understand how paintings can make people cry and have "spells" and shit. This description should just be that poster image, again.

Malone (1987) - Whoever made the call to have this cover be a hastily matted image of Reynolds firing a shotgun against a background of flames: I am assuming that after you made that decision, you went on to invent the calculator or the rental car  or something equally crucial and you now live in a floating castle. Cause holy hell. I tried to rent three copies of this at once. They were like, "Why do you want three copies?" And I was like, "Don't condescend me."

The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991) - Oh man. Look at the tagline. It's a whole paragraph. I don't know what to say. I always wanted to see this. It's shall we say, one of the less celebrated of the initial batch of Die Hard ripoffs. Ken Wahl (from the Fights-approved The Soldier) and Max Headroom running around.

Mind Melters presents...Young Warriors (1983) - Everything I've read about this makes it sound completely schizophrenic. Supposedly, it's a really silly high school comedy and then all of a sudden it turns gritty and ultra violent. However, WARNING: plot appears to involve rape/revenge. Sensitive viewers should skip this night. I don't want a repeat of when we showed Savage Streets and all the women were threatening to set the TV on fire.


Death Promise (1977) - This is "genuine article" Shitfest. It's like, evil landlords are setting loose all these rats in their buildings cause they want poor tenants to leave. But then some guy is fighting back with karate. As soon as the first shot appears on screen, everyone will be like, "Oh shit. It's one of these."

Death Run (1987) - A post-apocalyptic epic...apparently filmed in a high school gym. Involves monsters and lepers that all appear to be people who took different pies in the face. How about that artwork's attitude: Yeah, I'm a Shitfest. So what?