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?


Friday, March 29, 2013


Frights Group presents...


The movies keep getting worse, but you guys keep showing up. Behold: more nuggets I chiseled off the inside of a dumpster.


Hauntedween (1991) - The dumbest movie title in the history of Frights. After all these years, we're still setting new benchmarks. I love how on that box cover there was a big chunk ripped off and someone colored it in with pen. Brings you back to a time when people cared about shit.

Rush Week (1991) - This cover art looks like a brochure for some wack dinner theatre place. It's totally confusing and it was even before the mid 90s when all horror posters turned into WB show cast "lineups." How intense is blue-shirt dude's secret love-gaze for the fancy guy? Maybe my most anticipated film in the lineup. ***Emily's Pick ***Melissa's Pick


Devil Story (1985) - Remember when we watched like ten minutes of Ogroff and it was just vaguely ominous wide shots of people walking around woods and fields and everyone was like, "Wait. There's 70-some more minutes of this shit?" Well, now there's this.

TerrorVision (1986) - An American straight-to-video production shot in Italy with weirdness set so deep in the bones, it makes you squint. After this, the next film you watch that actually tries to be weird won't even register. People had to literally not know what the fuck each other were saying in order for something to go this wrong and dumb. And stupid. Important to note: it has its own theme song. ***Justin's pick. Seriously, Justin was like, you better fucking put TerrorVision on there.


Bad Moon (1996) - 1996...a little past the Frights sweet spot. At least the werewolf and gore effects are still all practical. And a little Michael Pare won't hurt anyone. So quit complaining. On the curve of werewolf movies, which almost all suck by the way, this is high end shit.

Lone Wolf (1988) - This is about a werewolf and a metal band. Metal/horror films always sound killer on paper, but then you end up with shit like Shock 'em Dead, Trick or Treat and Rocktober Blood. Actually, wait a minute. Those movies were good.


Bloodmoon (1997) - Check it out. A scary karate movie! A serial killer is targeting martial arts type dudes. All the so-bad-it's-good reviews online are like, "No, seriously, the fight scenes are actually pretty good." And I'm like, "No, seriously, it doesn't matter. I've seriously already decided to watch the living shit out of it."


Slugs (1988) - A special encore screening of Slugs, one of the itchiest, oiliest sacks of garbage we've ever dumped into the TV. Look at the mark on the box where there used to be another sticker. Apparently they had this in the "Drama" section until someone complained. Either that or someone ripped off the "Chad's Employee Pick" sticker.


Contamination (1980) - This is some Alien ripoff bullshit perpetrated by the Italians, so Justin should enjoy it. It got a foot in the door by promising a head-explosions-per-minute rate of approximately 62. And that VHS cover is artistic as hell.

Demon Seed (1977) - People have been saying for a while that this thing is Frights gold, but I've been hesitant cause it looks all reputable and shit. Then I heard something about Julie Christie being raped by a computer and I reconsidered. 

The Devil's Gift (1984) - This was a bittersweet moment. Cause first you're like, HOLY SHIT A KID-WITH-A-KILLER-TOY MOVIE I'VE SOMEHOW NEVER HEARD OF?!?! But then like three seconds later, you're like, man, it must suuuck. Anyway, the evil toy is one of those little monkeys with the cymbals. So that seems cool. I can't decide if that box art is awesome or it sucks. The title made out of ribbon is kinda weak, but then, it may just be the movie playing hard to get.

The Horror Show (1989) - Brion James plays a killer named "Meat Cleaver" Max. Like you need to know more shit than that to show up for this? I remember seeing some of it on HBO and there's a part where they have to crank the electric chair up to full blast to phase him and he's yelling like, "This is chickenshit," or something and then he starts puffing up like that dude in Big Trouble in Little China. I also remember looking at this Fangoria at the grocery store really hard:

I was like, "Mom! Mom! Freddy's invading TV! I'm allowed to watch TV!" Man, all my stories are the same.

Night Life (1989) - Scott Grimes followed the stand-up double of Critters and Critters 2: The Main Course with...a zombie movie I've never even heard of? Well, who are we at Frights to judge? Sorry we didn't get to this sooner, Mr. Grimes. It slipped down between my desk and my once having standards.

Witchboard (1986) - From Kevin S. Tenney, director of Frights classic Night of the Demons. I was never even close to allowed to see this as a kid cause my mom was super freaked out by Ouija Boards. She was always like, "Horror movies are one thing, but Devil shit's another. I don't like Devil shit." As I result, I for a long time equated renting this movie and pressing play with basically daring Satan to burst you into flames. Today, it actually looks like one of the sleepier titles on the roster. And I already did a test where I made Sarah press play on it. Nothing happened.