What better way to celebrate another meaningless holiday than with some old school slasher films? Here are two horror classics that take place on New Year’s Eve:
First up is the classic Terror Train. Starring scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, this is a great film about a group of college kids who are having a NYE costume party on a moving train with a crazed masked killer on board who wants revenge!
Next up is New Year’s Evil about Blaze, a punk rock TV host who is having a rockin’ NYE’s television countdown when she receives a call live on the air from a guy called “Evil” who makes a New Year’s resolution to murder someone at midnight in each time zone. He starts by killing women Eastern Standard Time and quickly makes his way to the West side where Blaze is the murderer’s grand New Year’s finale.
Happy New Year Bizarros! May the new year be even more bizarre and twisted than the last!
By Sam Reeve
Language: Mandarin and English
My rating: 5.5/10
Although saturated with flaws of all kinds, Invitation Only has you rooting for its protagonists, and fans of gore will be thoroughly loving what is reportedly Taiwan’s first slasher film.
In a brutal, torture-porn tale of poor vs rich, we meet Wade Chen, a slacker “loser” who got a decent job because of his influential father. One day his boss insists that Chen go to a fancy invite-only party in his stead, but little does he know that the party is merely an excuse for the wealthy to humiliate and kill off a few unlucky victims. Sort of like Hostel, but with more cocktails and dancing. Set in a converted warehouse (because that’s where the rich hang out, right?), Chen must find a way to escape before he gets added to the body pile.
If it wasn’t for how the protagonists were set up, I probably would’ve found this quite boring. Torture movies just don’t do it for me, but the social commentary, simplistic though it was, added just enough oomph for me to get through this and still care about the surviving characters. Chen rose to the occasion from having previously been a boring, incompetent wiener, and the remaining female actually used her head to help her survive. She even ditched the heals. Seriously, you don’t see that shit enough. It was refreshing.
Also as hilarious as it was confusing, was the presence of a white dude as one of the chief bad guys. And he looked ridiculous with his shitty little goatee and hard-to-place accent. It was great!
Here’s the full movie with English subtitles. Enjoy!
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 6.5/10
Don’t be fooled by the title – this isn’t another zombie/plague movie. Rabies is all real-life horror with people doing horrible things when pushed to the edge. If you want to be left feeling disturbed and sad, give it a watch, but know that it really isn’t for the faint of heart.
With multiple story arcs, Rabies got a bit confusing at times, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. It takes place in a forest reserve that’s closed for the season. First we have an incestuous brother and sister who’ve run away from home and are hiding in the forest. The girl falls into a hole/trap that can’t be opened, so the brother runs for help. Then we have Menashe, the park’s caretaker, patrolling around with his dog. The psychopathic killer comes to collect his human prey, but when he’s trudging through the woods with the bound and helpless female, Menashe sees him and shoots him with a dart. He collects the girl and starts carrying her to safety.
Meanwhile we have four young tennis players, two men and two women, lost on their way to a tournament. The brother runs out in front of their care, but survives the accident. He ropes the guys into helping him get his sister out of the trap while the girls wait by the car for the police.
Sounds like things will work out, right? The cops are on their way and the sister is in good hands. Unfortunately the one cop prefers to sexually assault women and the other is too chicken to stop his partner, and with mistaken identity, active land mines in the woods, and a whole heap of love and jealousy, no one gets out of this story with clean hands (or gets out at all).
Rabies was one of the more suspenseful and surprising movies I’ve seen in a while. You know that part in House of 1000 Corpses where Otis takes an agonisingly long time to shoot the old man? This movie is filled with scenes like that. But it’s not a one-trick pony either – there are plenty of quick bits of action that keep you jumping, too. It’s the kind of movie that stabs you in the gut and doesn’t forget to twist the knife. Most surprising is that the psychotic killer was a minor character, but thanks to the abundance of evil within all of us, it’s still a bloodbath!
You’ll be left with a lot of questions at the end and a lack of closure, but you’ll have learned one thing for sure: people are horrible.
Here’s the trailer, and below that you’ll find the full movie. If you’re a true horror fan, consider watching it. It’s reportedly Israel’s first slasher film!
By Sam Reeve
Language: Urdu and English
My rating: 8.5/10
I loved the living shit out of Hell’s Ground. It’s like a more exotic, Pakistani version of House of 1000 Corpses, and with a few zombies thrown in for good measure. If you fail to see “Pakistan’s first gory film”, you’re a fool. Just look at the poster! For me it was love at first sight.
A group of five teenagers from Islamabad go on a road trip to see a concert. They get lost on the back roads as any horrific road trip movie goes, and run into all sorts of trouble: zombies with a ‘mysterious’ disease, a crazy shaman with a severed head in his bag, and burqa man, a psychotic killer who wields a mace. No doubt the van breaks down, decreasing everyone’s chance at survival.
Like House of 1000 Corpses or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a bunch of the screwed up, evil characters turn out to be part of a big family. It was something I wasn’t actually expecting and it was an interesting twist.
There were so many things I loved about Hell’s Ground, including that its flaws were seldom noticed against the colourful background of backwoods Pakistan. The characters were standard, as was the acting, and you could tell from the beginning who the final girl would be. This hardly mattered when you saw zombies in saris, a killer in a motherfucking burqa, and heard the amazing tabla music that played during the most intense scenes.
I think enough of Hell’s Ground that I’ll be showing it to friends this weekend. If you’re not convinced yet, check out the trailer below. At the bottom you’ll find the full movie with English subtitles.
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 3.5/10
Some people really get a kick out of ultra low-budget films, and I can often be that person. Violent Shit just didn’t quite do it for me, but my husband loved it and its cult following would imply he’s not alone. Getting banned in Germany for being too extreme has probably helped its cause, since that kind of publicity could never really be bad for a horror movie.
A psychopath named Karl escapes from the police and runs around for days, chopping people to bits with a newly acquired meat cleaver. We see some flash backs to when he was a child, including when he murder his first victim (his mother), and in between killing unsuspecting people, Karl flops down into random fields to sleep.
I probably could’ve gotten into Violent Shit a bit more had I not been so tired, but there were some choice bits that I enjoyed. My favourite part was that everyone was dressed like 80s rockers, even the dudes “working” in the woods digging holes. The ultra low-budget quality and bland plot lowered the entertainment value, but if you watch this a friend and proceed to laugh at it the whole time, it’s a decent way to spend an evening.
If you’ve got five minutes, check out the clip below. It’s from when Karl murders the bratty labourers in tight pants, and you’ll get a taste of what you’re in for. Underneath that is the full movie with English subtitles.
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 5/10
In an effort to share horror movies from as wide a range of countries and continents as possible, I’ve had to resort to watching some that are mediocre at best. Africa is particularly short in this genre, so it was slim pickings for what I could find. Night Drive is a bad (but still entertaining) slasher story set in a nature reserve. The first half is pretty painful to get through, but I found the second to be enjoyable and with redeeming qualities.
A group of tourists are taken out on a night drive, a night-time tour of a game park to see the wildlife. Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of murders in the park by poachers, but these aren’t the ordinary ones hunting for ivory. These guys are ripping out tongues and genitals from live, screaming humans. They work for the Hyena Man, a terrifying witch doctor with vague and sinister intentions.
After their jeep breaks down the tourists are left at the mercy of these evil dudes, but luckily a few bad asses are amongst them – the tough guide with a clichéd scar on his face, and his eye candy ex-cop son who came on the trip to scatter his mom’s ashes.
Night Drive sucks in the beginning because the director/writer/whoever got too caught up with the characters’ back stories, and there were WAY too many flash backs. The second half is much more focused on the remaining characters’ fight for survival and the acting was even stepped up a notch during the more brutal scenes.
My favourite parts were the gore and Hyena Man costume, since both were very well-done. He was a more unique antagonist than many I’ve seen, so it helped keep it a bit fresher. Lord knows the rest of the characters were ones we’ve all seen a million times in bad horror movies.
Below is the trailer, and below that is the full movie (painstakingly uploaded by yours truly). Enjoy!
by Tracy Vanity
Grindhouse fans are mourning the loss of actor and songwriter David Hess, who died October 8th of a heart attack.
David Hess left behind a series of unfinished projects and appeared in several movies that haven’t even been released yet, like a sequel to The House at the Edge of the Park and a biopic of Charles Manson.
If you haven’t watched the ’72 version of Last House on the Left you should. Pretty much every exploitation flick that followed Last House takes liberties from it or just directly rips it off like David DeFalco did with the atrocity that was Chaos.
Not only did Hess play a great psychopath but he also did the soundtrack for Last House on the Left and and even wrote some chart toppers for Elvis Presley. He will be remembered most for his brutal contribution to cinema. Fans are honoring his memory by having a David Hess film night just in time for Halloween. My Hess Halloween marathon includes: Last House on the Left, Smash Cuts and Hitch-Hike.
Appreciative of his fans until the very end, the last message on his official website says:
Thanks to all my fans that came to say “Hi” to me in Los Angeles at the Fangoria convention.
While searching for David Hess-related news I came across an interview with Slasherama, where he answers a question about death and the legacy he wishes to leave behind:
What do you believe happens to us when we die?
Hess: “I don’t want to think about that just yet. Ask me after I die, I’ll let you know.”
Which one mark would you like to leave on the world?
Hess: “That I was the person I expected myself to be.”