Cellar Dweller (1988)

Starring Debrah Farentino, Yvonne De Carlo, Brian Robbins, Pamela Bellwood, Miranda Wilson, Vince Edwards, Jeffrey Combs, Floyd Levine, Michael Deak

Directed by John Carl Buechler

Expectations: I’m optimistic, but cautious.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


Cellar Dweller tells the story of an ancient demon summoned into a cabin basement by the satanic dabblings of comic book creator Jeffrey Combs. He’s using a Necronomicon-style tome to help him with book ideas and evidently that ain’t a good idea. He draws the monster killing a young female, and before he knows it, an eight-foot-tall monster is behind him murdering a scantily clad screaming girl. This short opening sequence not only sets up the remaining film, but foreshadows most of the rest of the movie.

This film uses the traditional “people stuck in a location” horror motif, but turns it on its head as the people aren’t actually stuck. There’s no bridge/road washed out, no thunderous storm of the century, no evil horde of assaulting monsters on the other side of every door. The people can leave at any time, but inexplicably they never do. This cabin in the woods where they all find themselves (and where Jeffrey Combs had his intro run-in with the monster) is now doing business as “Throckmorton, Institute for the Arts” run by the lone staff member, Mrs. Briggs (The Munster’s Yvonne De Carlo).

Continue reading Cellar Dweller (1988) →

The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008)

Starring K-von Moezzi, Kelsey Sanders, Joseph Porter, Frank Nicotero, Jon Southwell, Jacob Witkin, Michelle Bauer, John Carl Buechler, David DeCoteau, Greg Nicotero, John Vulich, Adam Green

Directed by Silvia St. Croix

Expectations: Low. The first one was abysmal.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


The Gingerdead Man 2, despite featuring a storybook opening detailing the events of the first film, disregards everything from its predecessor except the titular character and chooses to forge ahead into unknown territory. Well, maybe unknown is a bit extreme, but you get the point. The Gingerdead Man 2 instead goes for the Full Moon jugular, aiming itself squarely at Charles Band and the Full Moon filmmaking mentality, as well as the overarching genre of low-budget horror pictures. Surprisingly, it actually succeeds a lot more than it fails at this and winds up being an okay movie.

Continue reading The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008) →

Weekend of Horrors Day 3

The final day of the Los Angeles Weekend of Horrors was a bit of a non-event for myself and Jasper, but there were a couple of panels we didn’t want to miss. We got in the car and braved the dangerously slick streets of Burbank, CA to see John Carl Buechler (FX artist / Director) and the Heroes and Heroines panel featuring Fred Williamson, John Saxon, Jim Kelly and others. We swooped into the auditorium as an auction of  various memorabilia pieces was going on. All throughout the weekend, each panelist would stride over to these huge banners flanking the stage and scrawl a little something on it. Apparently, people want these things! A Bruce Campbell banner went for around $400, a full hundred more than a Schechter guitar signed by virtually every attendant of the previous Weekend of Horrors event (Dario Argento, Robert Englund, etc.) The auction was exciting and intense, as the event coordinator called out for bids and the prices jumped up.

Continue reading Weekend of Horrors Day 3 →

TerrorVision (1986)

Starring Chad Allen, Diane Franklin, Mary Woronov, Gerrit Graham, Bert Remsen, Jon Gries, Jennifer Richards, Alejandro Rey, Randi Brooks, Frank Welker

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


If you’re looking for a serious injection of the 1980s into your life, then look no further than this morally questionable little film, Terrorvision. Everything in this movie is dripping with the kind of Velveeta that only the 1980s could produce. The thing is, this only goes so far and unfortunately it ends up working against itself. After the initial laughs have passed, it all gets really tiring because at the heart of the matter, this really would have worked a lot better as a short.

Continue reading TerrorVision (1986) →

Troll (1986)

TROLLStarring Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Jenny Beck, June Lockhart, Sonny Bono, Shelley Hack, Phil Fondacaro, Anne Lockhart, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gary Sandy

Directed by John Carl Buechler

Expectations: Moderate.


There’s a lot of films that are just plain bad. There are a few though that can transcend the steamy birthing pit of awful and become something truly enjoyable. Troll is one such film and it was a distinct pleasure to watch. I felt like the stars had aligned, the tides had synchronized, the rubber band at the crux of the universe had been perfectly tightened. I locked into the Troll mythos and never looked back. This is truly one of the crowning gems of the Empire International catalog.

Troll tells the story of a family moving into a new apartment building. Upon their arrival the young daughter of the clan explores the downstairs laundry room and is accosted by a troll! The troll assumes control of her body and takes her place amongst the family. Immediately it is obvious that she has changed, as she ravenously tears into an open-faced hamburger and then wigs out with the thrill of consuming meat and runs around the entire building screaming, “Ratburgers!” The troll continues its rampage throughout the film, slowly taking over the entire building, one apartment at a time.

Continue reading Troll (1986) →

Uncle Jasper reviews: Carnosaur (1993)

Carnosaur (1993)
AKA Carnosaurus

Starring Diane Ladd, Raphael Sbarge, Jennifer Runyon, Harrison Page, Ned Bellamy, Clint Howard, Frank Novak

Directed By Adam Simon


Hi folks. Welcome to today’s installment of “Shit My Dad Used to Rent.” Today we have 1993’s ultra-schlocky Dino-ploitation classic, Carnosaur. Now let’s not bullshit ourselves here, there is only one reason this film ever saw the light of day. Cranked out and released less than a year after Steven Spielberg’s mega blockbuster Jurassic Park, Carnosaur sought to take a T-Rex-sized bite out of the dino-mania propagated by that smash hit. Surprisingly, it is based on an Australian novel written six years before Michael Crichton’s bestseller ever saw the light of day, even though the film itself reeks of a shameless cash-in attempt.

But for a kid going through dinosaur withdrawal after Spielberg’s hit disappeared from theaters, imagine the shit-eating grin I must have had on my face when my dad brought this one home. I was a little put off by the ghetto-looking rubber T-Rex on the VHS sleeve, but with a title like Carnosaur it seemed like a dream come true. This would be Jurassic Park with a darker edge. As much as I loved watching Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum run away from those carnivorous monsters, Jurassic Park had a severe shortage of what I think we all really wanted to see: dinosaurs eating people. I understand toning it down in order to secure that coveted PG-13 rating, but without blood and guts it amounted to a fun and suspenseful adventure, not the dino-horror film I think I was initially hoping for. But fuck it dudes, who needed Jurassic Park? I had Carnosaur now!

Continue reading Uncle Jasper reviews: Carnosaur (1993) →

Ragewar (1985)

Ragewar (1985)
AKA Ragewar: The Challenges of Excalibrate, The Dungeonmaster

Starring Jeffrey Byron, Richard Moll, Leslie Wing, Phil Fondacaro, Anthony T. Genova III, Lonnie Hashimoto, Michael Steve Jones, Peter Kent, Paul Pape, Randy Popplewell, Felix Silla, W.A.S.P.

Directed by Dave Allen, Charles Band, John Carl Buechler, Steven Ford, Peter Manoogian, Ted Nicolaou, Rosemarie Turko

Expectations: High. With a title like Ragewar, it’s hard not to have high hopes.

On the general scale:
threestar

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


Did you ever wear an NES Power Glove when you were a kid and pretend you were pushing buttons on it, affecting the real world? Me too, and boy have I got a movie for you!

The film opens with a short dream sequence in which our hero finds himself slowly chasing after a woman in a red dress. He follows her into a room where she has disrobed and lies on a spotlighted bed. He goes in for a kiss, but shortly after, a bunch of Tusken Raider-like mutants bust through the door, punch him out and take the girl! This has no real bearing on the main story but it sets up the film nicely. Upon US release this scene was removed in order to secure a PG-13 rating and the title was changed to The Dungeonmaster to capitalize on the success of Dungeons and Dragons, despite having zero relation to the classic pen-and-paper RPG.

Continue reading Ragewar (1985) →

Subscribe via Email!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 81 other subscribers

Ongoing Series

Top Posts & Pages