Witchouse: Blood Coven (2000)

Witchouse: Blood Coven (2000)
AKA Witchouse 2

Starring Ariauna Albright, Elizabeth Hobgood, Nicholas Lanier, Kaycee Shank, Alexandru Dragoi, Adriana Butoi, Andrew Prine, Serban Celea, Claudiu Trandafir, Jeff Burr, Dave Parker

Directed by J.R. Bookwalter

Expectations: Not much, but hopefully fun like the first one.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

There’s a general assumption that sequels go down in quality from the original, and that is probably especially true in low-budget horror films. Witchouse: Blood Coven actually steps it up from the first film, with a much more fleshed-out script that delivers an actual story along with its low-budget thrills. The characters aren’t as unique and memorable as the first film, but they feel more realistic. Witchouse: Blood Coven has more in common with a traditional film that its cheapo predecessor, and so your enjoyment of it will depend on your particular leanings. For me, I appreciated the effort made, and I think it’s a better film than Witchouse, but I still think the first film wins in terms of overall entertainment.

The story of Witchouse: Blood Coven is not directly related to the first Witchouse, and that’s as it should be. I like the idea of similarly themed films grouped by an overarching title, and with the thin story running through Witchouse, it seems like a natural fit here. Anyway, Witchouse: Blood Coven takes place in Covington, Massachusetts, and it follows a university professor (Ariauna Albright) and her team of students as they investigate four unmarked graves unearthed during construction of a shopping mall. Something tells me this town has a few secrets…

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Kraa! the Sea Monster (1998)

kraa_2Starring R.L. McMurry, Teal Marchande, Robert Garcia, Robert J. Ferrelli, Jeff Rector, Stephen Martines, Anthony Furlong, Alison Lohman, Candida Tolentino, J.W. Perra, Jon Simanton, Jerry Lentz, Michael Guerin, John Paul Fedele

Directed by Aaron Osborne (with kaiju SFX scenes directed by Dave Parker)

Expectations: I hope it’s as fun as Zarkorr! the Invader was.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Kraa! the Sea Monster begins with promise. Lord Doom, a red-caped villain with a skull face (who looks like he could be a cousin of the metal-faced, green-caped Doctor Doom!), converses with his minion Chamberlain, a midget with white face paint and space goggles. They hatch a plan to steal the Earth out from under us humans by sending down the alien behemoth Kraa to pave the way for the Doom clan. Lord Doom’s planet is becoming too cold to support life, and he craves the warmth of the Earth. Someone just send this guy a space heater and call it a day!

Unlike Full Moon’s previous kaiju film, Zarkorr! the Invader, in Kraa! the survival of the Earth does not hinge on the actions of one man. That task mainly falls onto the backs of the Planet Patrol, a group of teens flying around the galaxy in a Death Star-like sphere ship. Lord Doom disables their ship so they are unable to respond, but somehow (I honestly forget how) the Planet Patrol is able to send an agent to Earth that should be able to handle the job.

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The Dead Hate the Living! (2000)

Starring Eric Clawson, Jamie Donahue, Brett Beardslee, Wendy Speake, Benjamin P. Morris, Rick Irwin, David Douglas, Matt Stephens, Kimberly Pullis

Directed by Dave Parker

Expectations: Heard this was good, but it looks pretty shitty.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

The Dead Hate the Living, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! I couldn’t resist such a tastelessly shitty opening which the film’s title sets itself up for, but the sentiment is all true. Right from the get-go I was drawn into the film’s unique world and it never let me go. I expected very little, but I got a ton of fun from The Dead Hate the Living, and hopefully if you seek it out you will too.

A small group of low-budget filmmakers are making a zombie movie inside of an abandoned hospital when problems start to arise. That could be the setup to any number of shitty horror movies (and the film is yet another in the long line of horror films teaching youngins not to fuck with shit they know nothing about), but director Dave Parker’s knowledge of the genre enables him to circumvent the classic tropes just enough to keep the film fresh and exciting throughout. Prior to this, Parker had been editing Full Moon’s trailers and VideoZone VHS featurettes, but the talent he displays in this film shows that he is clearly meant for grander things than simple editing jobs. I’m excited to check out his other work, which looks like it’s pretty much only 2009’s The Hills Run Red and the soon-to-be-released film Coldwater. Anyway, I’m impressed.

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