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.