By Sam Reeve
My rating: 7.5/10
I just couldn’t resist featuring my own country on Halloween, and of course I would have to pick something by one of the greatest Canadians ever: David Cronenberg. Characteristic of the Toronto-born director, Shivers is a venereal body horror with plenty of creatures, blood and boobs.
Fun fact: one of the alternate titles when filming was Orgy of the Blood Parasites.
The inhabitants of high-rise apartment building on a little island in Montreal are infected with parasites. They turn into sex-crazed maniacs who rape or seduce everyone they meet in order to spread the bugs around. Yum!
Shivers is thoroughly satisfying and I regret having waited this long to see Cronenberg’s first feature film. The slug-like parasites or totally gross and the mundane apartment setting was the perfect place for them to be introduced.
Here’s the trailer, which is narrated by that deep-voiced dude who seems to narrate everything. Below that is the full movie. Happy Halloween!
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 7/10
Have I mentioned how much I love Bollywood? The films are ridiculous, have awesome music and dance numbers in every genre of film (yes, even in this horror movie), and they’re often very bizarro-friendly. Purana Mandir is a cult classic directed by the legendary Ramsay brothers, known for their popular horror movies in the 80’s and 90’s.
A long time ago Samri, an evil vampire-like devil worshiper, is captured and killed by Raja Singh. Before being beheaded, Samri curses the king’s bloodline. Fast forward to modern times and the remaining Singh heir has a beautiful young daughter, Suman. She can’t get married to her lover Sanjay because of the curse, which states that the Singh women will all die in childbirth. The couple escapes with two friends to learn more about the curse, but unwittingly awaken Samri.
I loved this movie! The soundtrack was quite haunting, there was a lot of comedic relief and a few subplots to keep things interesting. Samri was also pretty creepy looking. My only gripe was with the plot, since it was totally hinged on the couple wanting to be together but for Suman to not die from the curse. Couldn’t she just never get pregnant? Birth control maybe wasn’t a big thing in India or something, or maybe not bearing children was a major taboo. I don’t know, but it would be my first choice over facing down a crazy living-dead guy.
Here’s a great clip involving a blood shower. Below that you’ll find the full movie with English subtitles. Enjoy!
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 9/10
Have you ever spent any time observing sheep? They’ve got more personality than any other livestock. They’re like huge dogs, but way more awkward. They’re also cute as fuck and it looks pretty great when a huge swarm of them come running down a hill towards a bunch of screaming humans. Black Sheep is a horror comedy like no other. Zombie sheep? Yes please! Weresheep? I’ll take that too, thanks.
Fun fact: New Zealand is one of the biggest wool producers in the world.
We have little Henry, a farm boy who loves herding the sheep with his farmer father and living in the idyllic New Zealand countryside. After a terrible prank by his brother Angus, and the ill-timed accidental death of his father, Henry is left scarred for life and terrified of sheep. Fast forward 15 years to his first visit back to the farm since he was a kid. Angus has gone into agricultural science to genetically engineer sheep, but some experiments go horribly wrong. Now the sheep are infected and attacking everyone, all thanks to a do-gooder hippie who stole some infected waste. Can they survive the outbreak? Or will they succumb to their wounds and turn into weresheep?
Black Sheep is one of the best “zombie” movies I’ve ever seen. It’s seriously funny, very bizarre and full of surprises. The sheep are as adorable as they are terrifying, and the gorgeous backdrop of rolling green hills was perfect for this gory comedy.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find this one online, and resorted to torrenting it. I tried my best to upload it to Youtube and VK, but my internet connection kept failing me too. I highly recommend you seek it out. You won’t regret it.
Here’s the trailer. Give it a watch!
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 6.5/10
Directed by the legendary Mario Bava, Black Sabbath is quite a noteworthy horror anthology film. The piece titled The Wurdulak stars the equally legendary Boris Karloff, and all the actresses from the movie are total babes. You can’t go wrong!
Fun fact: the famous band Black Sabbath apparently named themselves after this film.
In The Telephone we have a beautiful woman who’s terrorized by phone calls and a vengeful acquaintance. In The Wurdulak, Boris Karloff comes back as a vampire and attacks his family of peasants. Our final piece, The Drop of Water, is a ghostly tale about a nurse who steals a ring from a dead woman and gets haunted.
All three are fairly suspenseful and well acted, but the final one was probably the creepiest. The lady’s corpse had a pretty terrifying expression on her face:
By Sam Reeve
Language: English and Swedish
My rating: 8/10
The Swedes haven’t produced many horror movies, but when they do, they do it right. Evil Ed is a horror comedy that pokes fun at the splatter genre (as well as censorship) and doesn’t take things too seriously. It’s funny, cheesy, and wonderfully executed.
Fun fact: despite being filmed in English with Swedish actors, their voices were dubbed over by American actors for comical reasons.
Edward, a meek film cutter who previously enjoyed his work, is transferred to the “splatter and gore” department. The company wants to distribute a series of films called “Loose Limbs” to the European market, but must censor some of the violence. The graphic violence and horror of the movies get to Ed’s head, and he starts having visions and acting stranger each day.
I urge you to watch the film’s opening scene. It’s one of the best things ever and introduces you to Ed’s asshole boss.
Evil Ed is flawless if you like bad movies and have a sense or humour. Plenty of people don’t like it, but they’re butt heads who lack the aforementioned qualities. The dialogue is probably the funniest, and there are some pretty memorable lines. “Where’s my beaver-rape scene!?” will forever be floating around in your head, making you chuckle.
If Army of Darkness if on your list of favourites, you’ll fancy Evil Ed something fierce. You can watch the full movie below on Youtube.
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 5/10
My introduction to Turkish cinema was the ripoff of Star Wars, a film that was too bad to finish and had such low production quality that I just couldn’t cope. Although I finished Dracula in Istanbul, the quality wasn’t much better, but that may have been the specific copy I found on Youtube. The subtitles weren’t consistently there, and in some parts there was no dialogue in Turkish but everyone’s mouths were moving. It also looked like something from the 30’s, when in fact it came out in 1953.
As with the Turkish Star Wars, this was a ripoff story too. If you’ve read Bram Stoker’s classic vampire book, or even seen any of its truer adaptations, then you’ll know the drill here. Actually, Dracula in Istanbul is based on a book that majorly ripped off Stoker’s, and some people just consider it a translation.
Anyway, Lawyer dude shows up in countryside, meets Dracula. Finds out he’s a vampire. Some chicks get involved and some people get their blood sucked. One difference here is one of the ladies was an exotic dancer or something like that, so she was scantily clad compared to the dames in other old Dracula films.
Die hard fans of black and white horror will still get a kick out of this, but more so if you speak Turkish, because the subtitles sucked shit. I’m glad I knocked it off my list, and it’s apparently a major classic in its home country, so it’s also an important one foreign film lovers.
Here you have it folks, the stuff of legends, complete with the “English” subtitles. Enjoy!
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!