Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 5 (1989)

Every long-running horror series has a quintessential installment, the one where all the cliches and tropes are firmly in place, but they haven't yet descended into baldfaced gimmickry, like making the episode "funny" or setting it in outer space. I hereby submit that Halloween 5 is the quintessential Halloween sequel, even though, no, in fact because it isn't very good. It starts with a recap of the previous movie, showing how Michael Myers survived certain death yet again, after which he stumbles into some old dude's hovel and... well, he just up and crashes there until Halloween rolls around again! That's right, Michael Myers, mad slasher, just kinda chills at this cat's pad for an entire year, and unless the guy is a fucking saint or something we have to assume that, at the very least, Michael Myers paid for his own groceries and chipped in a little bit for the utilities. Seriously, think about that for a minute. Imagine all the day-to-day shit that two roommates splitting a really small place would have to hash out, and then imagine that one of those roommates is Michael fucking Myers. Did Michael Myers put little sticky labels on his food so the old guy wouldn't eat it? Did they argue over whose turn it was to feed the parrot? (Yes, they have a parrot. A parrot!) Did one of them ever walk in on the other one jerking off? When you start thinking about the practicalities of the situation, the sheer absurdity of it completely overshadows everything else that happens in this movie, which is too bad because otherwise it hits all the Halloween notes we've come to expect. Michael Myers dons his William Shatner mask. Michael Myers lurks in the bushes and the background. Michael Myers chases one of his female relatives around with a knife. Michael Myers kills several luckless bystanders. Michael Myers' doctor rants and raves and overacts, ultimately achieving nothing. It's like a ballet, if ballet featured more brutal murders, which I think we can all agree it should. Oh, and as a bonus, this chapter also features the incomparably fine "Tina", the acme of Halloween victim-babe hotness, trumping even Nancy Loomis in her underwear, which is no mean feat:

Of all the classic slashers, only Friday the 13th Part 5 trotted out more concentrated wet dream fodder, with its double dose of "Robin" and "Violet":

Both cut down in the prime of their horny lives.
This, THIS is why serial killings should be illegal.
So while Halloween 5 won't be winning any awards (except maybe one of those stupid ones, like the Saturn Award or something), consider checking it out. Tina's legs are not to be missed, and, if nothing else, you'll never have to watch another Halloween sequel again. And won't it be nice to have that checked off your list?
Happy Hallowe'en.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Child's Play 3 (1991)

The saddest entry in any horror franchise is the one that makes that last, floundering attempt to be scary before descending entirely into winking self-parody. The Child's Play/Chucky series (based on the execrable "My Buddy" doll, which it hilariously outlived by decades) was never very serious (or good) to begin with, and it's clearly just spinning its wheels here, but at least it's still trying to be a horror movie, instead of pummeling us with a bunch of tiresome one-liners and celebrity cameos like some sort of misguided Roseanne reunion special that doesn't even have the decency to feature both Beckys, naked, making out with each other. Not that there aren't one-liners, of course (this is a 1980s horror sequel), and the premise is fucking ridiculous (Chucky the killer doll mails himself to a military academy, where he befriends a thoroughly detestable knockoff of Webster) (yes, even more detestable than the actual Webster), but there are a couple of gruesome murders, the main chick's best friend is a hot redhead (I want her), there's not one but two scenes where Chucky is thrown into the garbage (an excellent idea deserves repeating), and, if the credits are to be believed, somewhere in this movie there's an actress named "Aimee Joy Slutske", and if she wasn't the most popular stripper working second shift at the IHOP, well, goddamn it, she deserved to be.

Aimee Joy Slutske, probably.
Unfortunately, even Aimee Joy Slutske's ostensible charms can't save this shitbasket of a movie, mainly because Chucky's intended victim is such a cloying, willfully obtuse little sneak-thief asshole that there's not a human being on Earth who will be rooting for his survival, which is kind of a problem when the entire plot hinges on rescuing him from a gruesome fate that he totally deserves. Seriously, he's the kind of kid that, when the surgeon says "We almost lost your son," his parents say "Try harder next time." If he were my child, our secret parental code word would be "hey kid, get in the van". It's a lie to say you'll never hate a small black child more because Rudy Huxtable still exists, but at least Rudy Huxtable ultimately grew up to star in porn. At least according to unattributed articles people keep posting on my Facebook feed.
Redheads! Contact me! I'm on the Facebook!

American Horror House (2012)

A clear riff on American Horror Story, a show that, at the time, hadn't yet descended into irredeemable, two-headed stupidity, this is yet another sorority house horror about bitchy, ugly sorority girls who are terrorized by several killer ghosts (including then-Florida governor Rick Scott) (trust me, it's the least of his evils), the victims of a mad slasher who's still creeping around, adding to their ranks. The kills are plentiful, gory, and stupid; it's about as scary as nuking a burrito; and the acting is on par with someone in a coma. Also, what is with the broad playing the violin instructor? How does someone who acts in sub-rent horror movies even afford that much plastic surgery? (Then again, she obviously got the budget package, so never mind.) Pretty much the sole bright spot is the main chick, primarily because she walks around in her underwear for an extended period of time:

This shot makes the movie look way better than it actually is.
One asshole even manages to flub the movie's best line ("Life's a bitch and so are you!")! It's a total crash & burn on every level, and bad even when compared to other sorority house movies. When you can't even live up to the lofty standards of something that usually has "National Lampoon's" appended to the title, you really need to pack up your fake blood and your underwear chicks and just go the fuck home.

Actually, feel free to leave one of those underwear chicks with me. I'll take either one of the blondes.
For more haunted hijinks, check out my book on haunted house movies, available here.