Vengeance of the Dead (2001)

Vengeance of the Dead (2001)
AKA Sleepwalker

Starring Michael Galvin, Mark Vollmers, Susan Karsnick, Andrea Washburn, Bob Wilson, Dan Kelly, Dick Furniss, Ashley Bodart, June Gracious, Wil Brochtrup

Directed by Don Adams & Harry James Picardi

Expectations: Low, but hopeful.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

The early 2000s were a low period for Full Moon productions, and in the case of Vengeance of the Dead, Full Moon simply acted as the film’s distributor. The directing duo of Don Adams & Harry James Picardi would later make Jigsaw for the company, but Vengeance of the Dead (or, as they originally and more aptly titled it, Sleepwalker) is purely the product of amateur passion and ingenuity. It is a film made for the love of it all and it shows, even through the film’s slow pace and relative lack of energy. The success of selling the distribution rights to your amateur horror film is a pretty big achievement, though, and the film is definitely worthy of its release (unlike many low-budget films I’ve seen 🙂 ).

Eric (Michael Galvin) is visiting his grandfather (Mark Vollmers), because that’s what good kids do. His grandpa is a nice guy, living is a modest house in a small town. Grandma died not too long ago, so the company is welcome (although it could be said that in most cases, grandkids visiting is always a welcome occurrence). Anyway, the guys catch up over a beer or two, and they open the final Christmas present that Grandma had squirreled away for Eric: a model rocket. It’s just an everyday, normal visit until they launch the rocket and it lands in the debris of a demolished home. While looking for the rocket, Eric takes an old spoon that catches his eye… but it seems that is not all Eric took home with him!

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Jigsaw (2002)

jigsawStarring Barret Walz, Aimee Bravo, Mia Zifkin, Arthur Simone, Maren Lindow, James Palmer, Mark Vollmers, David Wesley Cooper

Directed by Don Adams & Harry James Picardi

Expectations: Very low, but that cover is pretty awesome. Well, to me anyway.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

To judge Jigsaw by its cover is to assume that the film will be composed of a pieced-together mannequin man killing (or at least maiming) the characters in the film. You might even assume that the film is about him, like the way that the Friday the 13th movies are really more about Jason than the sexually active teenagers, especially for the fans. But Jigsaw is really neither, as most of the film revolves around a small group of students making a collaborative art project for their 30-something, lustful teacher, and then getting shitfaced in a little neighborhood bar called Sneaky Pete’s. But don’t just take my word for it! (That’s your cue to listen to this clip below:)

Each student receives a mannequin’s body part and is told to decorate it however they like. Some characters take this to heart and pour their darkest secrets into their work, while others simply do the bare minimum and call it a day. Thankfully for them, they never get graded, as through some unexplained forces the Jigsaw man comes to life and begins killing the students. If you’re OK with a mannequin coming to life for no reason other than “It’s a horror movie, ” and you enjoy low-budget movies, then you’ll find a lot to like about Jigsaw. All others need not apply, although I’m sure the cover alone is enough to send mainstream people running far, far away from this one.

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