Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 Movie Review 370

The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 is a 1985 sequel to the original and it is written and directed by Wes Craven. It stars Michael Berryman, Kevin Spirtas and John Bloom.

The movie begins with Bobby who was a survivor from the first movie. He is talking to his psychiatrist about what happened to him and he is still haunted by it. He owns a biker team with the other survivor, Ruby and they have invented a new fuel for bikes which they are going to race in the desert. Of course, the desert is the same desert where Bobby and his family were attacked!! Why would you go there???Bobby refuses to go so Ruby and the biker team go. Leading the team is Roy(Spirtas) and his blind girlfriend Cass(Tamara Stafford). They all set off on the bus into the desert and in some crazy move, they take a shortcut and end up right where the cannibals live. Ruby is very nervous. They bring the dog from the first movie, Beast.

Now, their bus breaks down and they are stranded. There is an old mine nearby and they explore it. Ruby runs into Pluto(Berryman), who survived the mauling that he got from Beast in the first film. How he did is a mystery! They fight but he escapes. Ruby knows that they are in danger. It turns out that Pluto is with another cannibal called The Reaper(Bloom) and they are after the group now. People begin to get killed as the cannibals stalk them. Pluto meets Beast once again and this time, Beast pushes him off a cliff and he dies. The Reaper is after the others as they begin to dwindle. Cass is left alone as she climbs down into the mineshaft where the Reaper lives..She realises that the dead bodies of her pals are there and she throws acid at his face and runs. Roy appears and he helps her to escape. They set a trap for the Reaper and they kill him. Roy, Cass and Beast survive and walk away together.

I really like this movie.It is not as good as the original obviously but I do think that it is entertaining and fun. I have always enjoyed it and I am surprised that it has gotten such a negative reaction. I have watched much worse movies than this and I count this as a good sequel to the original movie, even though it does have some flaws. It is well worth a watch if you haven't seen it and give it a chance- it is a decent film. Anyway, I am giving this movie a 7/10 because I really like it.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dead of Night Movie Review 369

Dead of Night or Deathdream is a 1974 horror movie directed by Bob Clark and starring Richard Backus, John Marley,Lynn Carlin and Henderson Forsythe.

Andy Brooks(Backus) is a young man who is in Vietnam fighting when he is shot. He dies and his family are notified of his death by the army. His father is Charles(Marley). His mother is Christine(Carlin) and his sister is Cathy(Anya Ormsby). They are devastated by the news, especially his mother. She is in denial. Cut to a trucker who gives a young soldier a ride when he gets killed by the soldier. The cops are looking into the case. In the Brooks house there is consternation when Andy arrives home. How is this possible? Did the army make a mistake? We suspect that there is something weird going on here. Did Andy not die in Vietnam. His family are overjoyed to see him and he seems different somehow. He is very quiet and his behaviour has changed.

Everyone in the neighbourhood is delighted to see Andy back. He won't talk to his family about his experiences in the war. He goes out alone at night. One day, he chokes the family dog and kills it. Charles begin to think that his son is crazy.Christine won't listen to him. She doesn't want to hear anything bad about her son. Charles tells his friend Dr.Allman(Forsythe) about Andy and his weird behaviour. The doctor decides to go and see Andy.Andy is very hostile towards him and they don't get on well.The doctor begins to wonder if Andy was the killer of the truck driver as he realises that the truck driver met a soldier coming home at the same time that Andy was coming home. Andy becomes suspicious of the doctor and he pays him a visit. He kills the doctor and injects himself with the doctor's blood. Andy has no heartbeat or pulse so this means that he is dead! He is a zombie and he needs blood to keep going or he will perish.

Andy goes on a double date with his sister and her boyfriend. Andy begins to deteriorate in front of their eyes. He needs some blood. They are horrified when they see the real Andy. He wants to kill his sister and everyone else. He goes home to his mother. Charles pulls a gun on him and he is going to shoot him but Christine stops him. Charlie shoots himself instead. Christine tries to escape with Andy as the cops come to get him. Christine and Andy end up in the local graveyard where Andy goes to a grave where he has scratched his name and the date of his death. He perishes in the grave as his mother cries.

This was very entertaining and fun movie. I loved Bob Clark's Black Christmas so I knew that I would enjoy this and I did. It is simple but there is a lot to like about it. I recommend it. I will give it a 6/10.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Wes Craven- A Tribute Part 2

So, we left off with the Scream franchise. Now for the movies that I enjoyed but didn't love. I did enjoy Deadly Blessing, a 1981 horror movie directed by Craven and starring Michael Berryman and Sharon Stone. It is set in an Amish like community and there is a killer on the loose. Stone and two pals are staying at a house near the community and there are all sorts of weird things happening such as creepy spiders being dropped into Stone's mouth and people being killed by tractors! It is an entertaining horror movie though and with time, I have began to appreciate it more.Deadly Friend is another entertaining movie brought out in 1986 starring Kristy Swanson. It is about a girl who dies and is brought back to life by her friends, but she has changed! I liked it. There is a great scene with a basketball in it!!

The People Under The Stairs is a 1991 horror/comedy movie directed by the man himself and it stars Wendy Robie and Everett McGill as husband and wife who have people locked up in their house. They were also together in the TV show Twin Peaks. They worked really well in this film and I enjoyed it. It was different from some of Craven's other films, but in a good way. It is forgotten sometimes and that is a shame as it is a good movie and one to watch if you are a horror fan. Red Eye was out in 2005 and was more of a thriller than a horror movie. Cillian Murphy was very good in it as a guy who sits next to a woman played by Rachel McAdams. He is not all that he seems. He kidnaps her on the plane and tells her that she has to help him to assassinate someone or he will kill her family. I enjoyed it. It was very good.

In 1988 Craven directed The Serpent and the Rainbow which starred Bill Pullman and centred around voodoo. I liked it, but I wouldn't call it one of my favourites. Shocker falls into the same category. in 1978 Craven directed a TV movie called Summer of Fear. It stars Linda Blair as a young woman whose cousin moves in with her family. She begins to suspect that her cousin is a witch! It is pretty tame, but I liked it. It was on TV one day and I decided to watch it. I found that it was good fun and entertaining. He directed a few more TV movies, but this one I liked. Cursed was released in 2005 and it was a werewolf themed movie starring Christina Ricci and Joshua Jackson. I saw this and I wasn't really too pushed about it. I liked bits of it, but it just wasn't great in my opinion. I found the same thing with the 2010 offering My Soul To Take. I just didn't like it very much.

Well, I will leave it at that. I know that there are more movies and TV shows that Craven was involved in, but I don't want to ramble on too long. Let me just say that he was a fine director and an innovator in the horror genre. He created some of the best horror movies that I have ever seen and he will be remembered for those...

Friday, September 4, 2015

Wes Craven- A Tribute Part 1

We here at Jigsaw's Lair were deeply saddened to hear of the death of the horror master Wes Craven.
I am a huge fan of his movies and that is why this tribute will come in two pieces. His name is so synonymous with horror movies and everyone knows who Freddy Krueger is(everyone should anyway).
I know that he did other types of movies and other stuff in his lifetime, but I will just concentrate of my favourite movies...

Let me start with my favourite Wes Craven film- The Hills Have Eyes.I have come to appreciate this movie over the years. It is very simple in some ways, but well made and very effective with the creepy baddies.
It was made in 1977 so it is the same age as I am! The first time that I watched it, it scared me, especially Michael Berryman! I was a lot younger so it was very unsettling to me.The people in the camper van seem doomed as they are stuck in a hot desert with no help in sight. There is a sense of doom as you realise that they are not alone. I love the way that you don't see the baddies straight away. When you do, it is a surprise as they seem like some sort of weird tribe who eat people they meet. This movie is brutal and violent with some eerie scenes such as the dad being crucified and the rape of the daughter.I will say that it is a real classic in my eyes and it is hard to beat it for a perfect horror movie. There was a sequel made by Craven in 1985 which I loved, but I don't think anyone else did!!!

 The next movie that I like is A Nightmare on Elm Street(1984). What can I say about this film? It changed horror and brought us a horror icon- Freddy Krueger. He is a nasty child killer who was tried but found not guilty of the killings. The parents of his victims found him and burned him alive in a boiler room. His face is disfigured as a result. He has a glove with blades on it and he comes to teens in their dreams/nightmares.
The first time that I saw him, he scared the life out of me, but again, I was a lot younger! He is a predator who gets to people in their dreams and he kills teens this way. He killed Johnny Depp in the original movie by sucking him into the bed! The movie spawned so many sequels that I have lost count and a silly remake. The original film is the best and it deserves to be called a horror classic.

The Last House on The Left is another favourite of mine. This was Craven's first movie as a director and it is brutal and raw. It doesn't spare the viewer and you should be aware that it can be quite nasty in parts. It is the daddy of a lot of these torture porn movies around now. It was made in 1972 and it was so reviled by censors that it was chopped to bits as was the thing at the time. There is an uncut version on DVD now, so at least you can see it properly now.Two young girls meet a group of criminals and they are subjected to torture and rape before being murdered. The gang think that they have gotten away with it, but in a strange twist of fate, they end up at the house of one of the young girl's parents and the criminals are the victims as they are killed in revenge. There are no happy endings here. It is bloody and bleak and it can be hard on the viewer, but it is a great example of real horror.

Lastly in this segment is the Scream franchise. In 1996 Craven made another classic horror movie called Scream.It was another benchmark in horror and revitalised the genre. It is about a group of teens who are terrorised by 'ghostface', a killer who wears a ghost mask. It is tongue in cheek but with real horror thrown in. I loved the first movie. I thought that it was just great. I get the similarities to Halloween and Friday the 13th etc and I love all of the references to horror movies in it.
The sequels were good, but not as good as the first. It will always be my favorite in the series. It has earned the classic title as it is such a good movie and far ahead of all of the horror movies that came after it. 

I will be back with part two soon...

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