Category Archives: Tuesday Terror

Tuesday Terror: Demonoid (1980)

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After a couple unwittingly releases an evil force, the wife searches for her now-possessed husband. Her efforts to thwart the demon’s plans don’t go unnoticed and soon she becomes a target. Can the wife find a way to send the entity back into the fiery depths of hell or will she get caught in the grip of evil?

In a lot of ways, Demonoid sounds like a typical horror movie. The trouble begins because a white couple doesn’t head the warnings of Mexican mine workers. The locals are just superstitious, you see. As owners of the mine, the couple decides to go deep inside in an attempt to shame the workers for their fear.

What happens when they stumble across several mumified corpses and an altar? They take one of the objects – a box – from the underground temple back home. After a few drinks, the husband decides to open the box; it appears to be full of sand. Little does he know that tampering wih the box has sealed his fate.

The unusual, fun part of this flick? These folks are being plagued and possessed by a demonic left hand. Imagine Thing from the Addams Family out of its box and roaming the streets for a host. Once this evil left hand is interlocked with the fingers of a human’s left hand – the party begins!

Some embrace the evil and give themselves over to it. Others fight against it. How do you get rid of an evil hand? You chop it off. Once you no longer have a left hand, the demon must be on its way. How do you defeat it? That’s quite a different matter.

One warning, the film begins with a bunch of people in pointy, hooded robes running through the mine. A woman’s clothes are ripped (her breast pop out), chained to the wall, yada yada. It very briefly resembles a horror-bdsm themed movie and feels out of place. It’s as if a producer realized they didn’ have any tits in the film and they needed to add an extra scene.

Full of dramatic chases and hand chopping, Demonoid makes absolutely no sense. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to – this is the 80s. 🙂

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Tip: Stop taking “random” objects from temples/burial grounds etc – especially if you don’t understand their significance.

Tuesday Terror: Dude Bro Party Massacre 3 (2015)

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Dude Bro Party Massacre 3 (there is no 1 or 2) is a parody of 80s slasher movies. A young man joins a frat to discover who killed his twin brother. The boys have a history of deadly pranks; could one of them have finally gone too far? Whoever the killer is, they aren’t finished. As dude bros begin disappearing and dying, just about everyone they come in contact with is a suspect.

Take a dash of Animal House (1978), cartoonish antics and a heavy sprinkling of blood/slasher and you get Dude Bro Massacre 3. Bleh.

An 80s movie with corny bits is nostalgic. A 2015 movie pretending to be an 80s movie is annoying. In movies where a group is stalked one by one, the group needs to have some character variation. One “dude bro” is fine. A whole frat house full of them is tedious. A real 80s movie would not commit this sin.

So, despite the buckets of blood, there’s no sense of satisfaction when one of these dudes dies. Oh, there’s a bunch of “bi” jokes and gay innuendo. It’s tired.

The kills are ridiculous, the reveal/explanation is preposterous and the final battle is uninspired – which is fine for an 80s horror movie. The problem? This movie just isn’t fun.

Tip: Avoid films with “Dude Bro” in the title.

Tuesday Terror: Demon Wind (1990)

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Cory is on a quest to reclaim his family’s land and discover the truth about their tragic past. The evil that plagued his ancestors has been waiting for him. Will Cory and his friends be able to survive the Demon Wind? ‬

This is the kind of movie where a main character gets every sign NOT to go to a place. His dreams warn against it, the locals warn against it, etc. The main character acknowledges that it could be dangerous but he just has to know the truth. Also, he never passes on the warnings to his friends so they can make an informed choice about following him into foolishness. Once they arrive at the forbidden place, the group spends the rest of the movie desperately trying to leave.

That’s the overall structure but the devil (ha!) is in the details. It’s as if the writer saw a bunch of horror movies and tried to stuff elements of all of them into this one. That Demon Wind is actually an evil fog. There’s a satanic cult and zombie demons. Two out of seven holy daggers show up. Evil children. A talking doll. A spell book. An explosive snow globe. A magician/karate master with fancy footwork. The kitchen sink.

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Okay – everything but the kitchen sink. Some of these bits happen in interesting ways. Others are just confusing. The group of friends is just demon fodder. After the first two are killed, two more show up the next day to replace them and edge up the body count.

Eventually, the big baddie reveals himself but it still takes Cory a moment to put up a decent fight. There’s a physical change that happens to Cory when he’s in battle mode that makes absolutely no sense. My best guess is that the design of the transformation was inspired by Alien Nation, a movie/tv show that came out around this time.

But is it entertaining? Yep.

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Tips:
*If you show up to a place and the first thing you see is a skeleton nailed to a cross, t’is a sign you should go home.
*Snow globes are dangerous – break only as a last resort.

Tuesday Terrific: Sorry To Bother You (2018)

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Cassius is a dude short on cash, prospects and motivation. He’s the type that wonders – does life really matter if the sun is going to explode one day and wipe our section of the universe clean? Desperate for money, he gets a job as a telemarketer. An older co-worker gives him the keys to success and Cassius finds himself quickly moving up the ladder. Getting a promotion has its drawbacks. Now, he finds himself at constant odds with his girlfriend,  the friends/coworkers he’s left behind and his conscious.

And that’s all I can really say without spoiling this fun, wild, thought-provoking film. It’s a documentary fantasy/comedy about people trying to survive a system that sees them as no more than a “resource”.

Do yourself a favor and don’t read spoilers before seeing Sorry To Bother You. Don’t even pay too much attention to reviews (glowing or otherwise). It’s best to go in fresh with as few expectations as possible; be open to the world that’s about to unfold in front of you.

Go on. Hop in the back seat and go on an adventure with these beautiful folks.

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Tuesday Terror: The Sand (2015)

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The night after a beach party, a group wakes up and discovers the sand suddenly has a hankering for living things. If you touch it, you become stuck and get sucked down into it. Could it have anything to do with that large, slimy rock they found last night?

The Sand is a modern-day take on the 80s movie Blood Beach. It opens like a foundation footage feature (it’s not) with video from the beach party. How do you know it’s a wild and crazy time? Lots of people are screaming and pouring liquor into each other’s mouths. The scene gives a hint of the terror to come and establishes why cell phones won’t be helpful later.

For all the drinking they did the night before, the handful of characters who wake up on the beach immediately start getting up into each other’s faces: talking, kissing, etc. Eww. Someone puts her feet in the sand – the terror begins.

Our group trying to escape the beach consist of the hot guy, his ex girlfriend, his current girlfriend, the nice guy who wants the ex girlfriend, the black guy who clearly makes bad decisions and two or three more friends there to enhance body count. No one here is a villain – though one does show up briefly.

With SyFy original movie grade special effects, this should be a silly, fun movie. Though the action starts fairly quickly, there are a lot of slow moments that give the viewer the chance to think. That takes the joy out of a film like this. For example, how come the beach is so clean after their wild party? Where did all of the liquor bottles go?

I should mention that “the black guy who makes bad decisions” spends the majority of this movie stuffed in a trash barrel with a dick drawn on the side of his face….

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Tip: Stop picking up large, slimy, egg-shaped things on the beach. Don’t hang out with people who would put you in a garbage can while you are passed out.

Tuesday Terror: Tourist Trap (1979)

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I am out and about sightseeing which brings to mind a movie that scared the heck out of me when I first saw it- Tourist Trap.

I haven’t seen this film in a while but certain scenes are just seared into my teenage brain. Especially the ending.

If you know the basics ingredients of the plot, a familiar story starts to form in the mind of a horror fan. A wax museum / old mansion, a group of friends, car trouble… Still, there’s something unsettling about this movie.

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Anywho, while I’m avoiding rundown roadside attractions like Slausen’s Lost Oasis, check out the trailer for Tourist Trap:

Tuesday Terror: Dead Body (2017)

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A group of recent high school kids, who all look suspiciously like college sophomores, gather at a cabin in the woods for a party. The night starts with drugs, weird dancing, arguments and a little fake girl-on-girl action. Then, someone suggest they play Dead Body. It’s not long before fake deaths become ahhhh real murders!

Can members of the rapidly dwindling group figure out who the killer is or will everyone lose?

Dead Body was a fun movie. Even though there are some bloody deaths on screen, this felt more like a mystery movie than a horror movie. The writer put some thought into the plot in that there are plenty of red herrings to divert attention from the truth. At certain points, it veered away from the expected to keep me interested.

Just a little quibbles. Because the majority of the characters know each other, there’s no scene that “introduces” the viewer to them. They are just types (as shown in the poster). There is an outsider – the bully aka a boyfriend from a working class background. No one bothers to give him the stories of these new people he’ll be trying to survive the night with. Little bits of info do come out when they are accusing each other. It’s hard to digest who did what when people are yelling at each other.

I wish they had a little more money to afford a bigger cabin. The film feels a little claustrophobic until the action spills to the wilderness outside.

When the killer finally reveals their true self and gave the “why I’m doing this/this is all your fault” monologue, it totally made sense. I mean, it’s not a good reason to kill but I understand.

If you are looking for true slasher horror, this might not fit the bill. If you are open to a bloody who-done-it with a few unexpected twist, don’t pass over Dead Body.

 

 

Tuesday Terror: Queen Of Spades, The Dark Rite

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Russian teens gather in front of a broken mirror to evoke the spirit of the Queen of Spades. The kids soon discover that the Queen is no urban legend and she is now attached to them. Haunted and hunted by a vengeful spirit, can they find a way to escape from her clutches?

The Queen of Spades is the Russian equivalent of Bloody Mary. Grab a candle, get in front of a mirror, use lipstick to draw a door and steps, close your eyes and call her forth. If you are successful and she appears – congratulations! Now that you have summoned her, she can appear at will in other reflective surfaces. Eventually, she will cut your hair. Then, she will kill you.

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Why call her up in the first place? Teens will be teens.

Actually, what starts out as a teen horror flick transforms into a “father will do anything to save his daughter from the demon” flick. The Dad of the youngest girl is summoned to his (ex?) wife’s apartment because the kid is acting strange. He doesn’t believe his daughter at first. He thinks her friends put the idea in her head and her imagination is working overtime. He only recognizes the danger she is in when the Queen of Spades begins following him around, too.

(The girl’s mother disappears for a nice chunk of the movie. I assume she and the other missing guardians are working…)

The movie does do some interesting things. When it’s time to contact the spirit a second time, the kids gather around a walkie-talkie instead of a Ouija board. Rather than an internet search montage to find background info about the Queen or the ritual, this film does something a little old fashioned – a figure cloaked in shadow who gives them advice. Our shadow man has tangled with her in the past but didn’t score a clean victory.

Queen Of Spades has a problem with keeping the tension high. Here’s an example not related to the haunting. Dad is a mechanic who is using a client’s car to drive around. Early on in the film the client threatens to call the police and report the car stolen. It’s to show that the father is jeopardizing his business and freedom for the sake of his child. The car never gets returned but the threat just vanishes.

While not exactly by the numbers, this film was obviously influenced by a lot of other horror movies. The creature looks like an older version of Mama. The father goes on a “Ring” type of quest. How does he get cursed? By watching a video of the ritual. The writers also stirred in a little Exorcist for good measure.

Do you want to summon the Queen of Spades – the movie is missing part of the ritual but all the details are here. A word of advice, make sure you understand how to get rid of her before you call her.

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Tuesday Terror: The Monster Project (2017)

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A duo who creates fake ghost/monster hunting videos for Youtube comes up with a great idea: film a documentary about real people who believe they are monsters. They rope in two more folks (a fellow fighting drug addiction and an ex-girlfriend) and set out to interview a supposed tattooed vampire, a body-camera wearing skinwalker and girl possessed by a demon.

Did I mention this documentary was being filmed in a boarded up house that has been the location of satanic rituals?

The Monster Project spends a healthy time trying to establish characters and relationships to foreshadow upcoming conflicts, etc. The filmmakers weren’t that exciting – just love triangles and typical drama. I wish the film had spent more time getting to know the monsters outside of the house. It could have been a day-in-the life of these normal people who believe they harbor dangerous, terrifying secrets.

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Things don’t really get going until they get to the house where – aaahhh real monsters! Do you know the chase scenes from Scooby-Doo where they run from room to room? That’s what happens here with shrieks, gurgles, growls and bloodshed.

As a found footage film, there is an explanation – sort of – for the multiple points of view. The filmmakers have cameras, the house has cameras everywhere, etc. However, there is a scene that we get were a camera recording it is completely illogical. That was a distraction for me.

 

 

The ending is one that you may not see coming but the film does throw out a few clunky clues early on.

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Tip: Don’t work with your ex.

Note: There a completely unrelated organization called The Monster Project that encourages kids to “pursue their creative potential.”

Terror Tuesday: House (1985)

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Horror writer Roger (William Kat) inherits his aunt’s house after she passes away. His first thought is to sell the place; it contains painful memories of his son’s abduction. Feeling that his son is still alive and needing a new space to write, he changes his mind. The house has his son and it wants him, too…

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This is a horror comedy that has a good balance of both. As a haunted house movie, it has things that go bump in the night, weirdness that shows up during the day and a surprise lurking in every closet. The film deals with sadness, grief and regret – but it’s not malicious.

Besides the inhabitants of the house, Roger’s world includes a nosy next door neighbor, an ex-wife who is concerned about his well being, a sexy model-type neighbor who wants knows when a man is “ready to play” and a dead aunt who stops by with advice.

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The stars of the film and most of the cameos are folks from 80s tv. For example, William Kat was The Greatest American Hero. George Wendt was a regular on Cheers. (Norm!)

Typically, horror movies gives you a human character who is evil (the true villain) or annoying to the point you root for the creature/killer to get them. That character doesn’t exist in House. There are conflicts that arrive from misunderstandings but the house is the only villain. Even today – a thousand years after I first saw the movie – that feels refreshing.

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Tip: Beware garden tools.

 

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