#1174 Halloween 2019: Slime City (1988)

An amateurish, below the average slime horror comedy ride, Slime City does very little to stand out from the competition: A young guy drinks from the wrong jug containing dangerous substance that turns him into murderous, slime oozing thingie.

The slimy, violent kills are of course the main focus here and that’s the only aspect of the movie where it delivers: The end mayhem culminating with a crawling brain is one of the wackiest gore comedy scenes of all times.

80s-o-meter: 64%

Total: 51%

#1173 Halloween 2019: Offerings (1989)

A mistreated boy grows up in an asylum and breaks free to pay the old neighbourhood a visit and to have his revenge on his tormentors.

Offerings is the most blatant Halloween clone I’ve seen to date, smartly disguised as a homage. The antagonist has the same bodily properties than Michael Myers – bullets don’t seem to slow him down – but as a character he is a far cry from his paragon.

The name Offerings is derived from the habit of the killer leaving body parts to his loved one – a girl who stood up against the bullies – and it’s a charming little touch in this otherwise eventless slasher.

80s-o-meter: 74%

Total: 51%

#1172 Halloween 2019: Mutant aka Night Shadows (1984)

Ever since I first saw the poster for Mutant, it got me excited; was this going to be an arctic scifi horror in the vein of The Thing?

Nope, it’s all lies. There’s nothing here even closely resembling it. No interesting location, no extraterrestrial creatures nor that much horror either. Instead what you get is a bunch of hillbilly villagers turned to dodgy blue zombies right out of Dawn of the Dead. And no, that’s not a compliment.

Everything in Mutant aka Night Shadows is weirdly disconnected, starting from the misleading title to the cool poster to the plot and the actual movie that feels as it was pasted together using leftovers from various low budget movies. While Mutant isn’t horribly bad, I can’t find much here that I like either.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 42%

#1171 Halloween 2019: Breeders (1986)

Horror in general already had a reputation or being sleazy before 80s, but it was in the early 80s that the movie producers really knew their core audience and catered them with cheap frights and gratuitous nudity so much that the genre – especially the slashers – became highly predictable. While this predictability was repelled by the critics, the young moviegoing audience ate it all up.

Breeders offers little new to what similar movies have done: There’s blood, graphic effects, virgins, rape and strange, otherworldly gooey substances and various other elements of an exploitation movie: it’s all about voyeurism, filth and sleaze. But what sets Breeders apart from the others is how unashamedly it is just that: absolute sleaze. It makes no hesitation of undressing every female just to show some nudity and the movie lingers on to these moments for what seems like an eternity.

There’s not much to be said in Breeders’ defence other than that it’s trash – but at least it’s being completely honest about it.

80s-o-meter: 76%

Total: 59%

#1170 Halloween 2019: The Unholy (1988)

Originally written in the 70s after the box office successes of The Exorcist and The Omen, The Unholy boasts similar base story of a catholic priest fighting against the evil powers, and does so in a wonderfully 80s way.

The concept actually works well and the movie stands out in a positive way among the horror movies of the era. Despite the unfortunate ending revealing the antagonists – usually a bad idea – the movie makes many effective design choices. The effects are scarcely used, but among one of the most effective ones.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 76%

#1169 Halloween 2019: Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Picking fun of Glenn Miller’s song Pennsylvania 6-5000 – a pun that wasn’t much fun back then, and even less today when the song is long forgotten – Transylvania 6-5000 unsuccessfully aims to poke fun of two reporters of a sleazy tabloid flying over to Transylvania to investigate a reported sighting of the Frankenstein’s monster.

The word on the internet is that the movie was financed by a chemical company that had frozen finances in the former Yugoslavia that couldn’t be used in the U.S., and the movie was written to accommodate that problem. When the motivation to shoot a picture is this, you can only imagine the hollowness of the end result.

The movie gets absolutely no mileage out of the foreign location and gathers up a remarkably strong cast that it then wastes due to a remarkably lousy script. Out of Jeff Goldblum, Ed Begley Jr., Jeffrey Jones, Geena Davis and Michael Richards it’s only Richards that manages to provide with little entertainment with his physical humour.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 17%

#1168 Halloween 2019: The Outing aka The Lamp (1987)

The Outing is your somewhat typical monster creature movie, with two notable variables: The creature itself is kind of a evil spirit living inside an old lamp, and the location of the movie is a museum that has acquired the lamp after it was stolen from an old mysterious lady.

While this setup works alright, I still got kind of a dejavú half way through the movie. Not for feeling if I had seen the movie before, but for guessing pretty much spot on how it all would unravel during the remaining 45 minutes, and as much as I’d wanted, The Outing didn’t offer any surprises there.

The strongest suit of The Outing remains its wonderful poster drawn by Drew Struzan. Unfortunately nothing else here reaches the same level of professionalism.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 51%

#1167 Halloween 2019: Grandmother’s House aka Grandma’s House (1988)

It’s not that Grandmother’s House’s last 30 minutes were horribly bad – they’re average – but what makes them remarkably disappointing is that they follow one hour of interesting buildup, but then miss most of the marks that were so carefully laid down before.

The latter half also leaves some gaping plot holes and far too many big questions unanswered to make Grandmother’s House a completely satisfying experience. But most of the experience still is fascinating and the story revolving around young kids adopted by their grandparents works well. The intensifying around the mystery involving a strange lady roaming about works well and the thrilling parts are well timed and effective.

Grandmother’s House works because of its pure daylight horror / mystery setup and as such still felt like a fresh breeze in a genre that relies very heavily on clichés and walking in the worn out footsteps of the big box office magnets.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 73%

#1166 Halloween 2019: Slaughterhouse (1987)

Let’s get the bad out of the way first: Slaughterhouse is not particularly scary movie, but to be fair it doesn’t really aim to be one. And although it has that comedic / absurd side tone to it, it luckily doesn’t try to be one of those silly horror spoofs either.

But it does has the look and feel that makes you think if the director/writer Rick Roessler had read an imaginary, over the top horror tale from the Mad Magazine and then decided to turn it into an actual film. There’s an abandoned slaughterhouse, tale of a payback, a big dumb psychopath in the vein of Leatherface and naturally a bunch of teens and other outsiders who wander into the depths of the slaughterhouse and are greeted with a surprise.

Slaughterhouse is not without flaws and clichés but in this case they work for the movie’s benefit, making it a perfectly good fit for those Halloween movie nights with your friends.

80s-o-meter: 90%

Total: 82%

#1165 Halloween 2019: Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983)

Shot in 1983 and released the same year and the following year in a limited release, and later in 1986 as the wide theatrical release, Mountaintop Motel Massacre is a slasher do doubt inspired by the genre classic Psycho.

In Mountaintop Motel Massacre we meet an old lady fresh out of asylum returning to her motel and starting to waste the guests by accessing the cabins using an underground tunnel. Known before as Mountaintop Motel and Horrors at Mountaintop Motel, the 1986 release of the movie saw the changing of its title as well as an updated poster with a deranged character that’s supposed to be the antagonist, but doesn’t really resemble anyone in the film.

While an above the average slasher, Mountaintop Motel Massacre is a fine example of how empty, soulless shells of movies slashers like these are when you get to compare them to an actual chilling and hair-raising horror masterpieces like Psycho.

80s-o-meter: 68%

Total: 49%

#1164 Halloween 2019: The Last Horror Film (1982)

Shot in location in Cannes Film Festival 1981 without permits, The Last Horror Film makes a valiant effort of mixing real life events and elements to the heartbreaking story of a dazed and confused New York taxi driver who dreams of making a horror movie with a beautiful actress he admires.

The real power of the movie is how well it depicts the mind of its protagonist turned to a stalking antagonist without realising it and the viewer will find themselves going through a barrage of emotions, and feeling sorry for him as he breaks and enters an apartment of a understandably shocked and traumatised young actress.

But it’s not all good news. This is a very uneven movie – even shoddy at times – and while the idea to mix in real life footage with sounds good on the paper, in reality it feels disconnected and out of place.

The Last Horror film is an admirable and ambitious attempt to do something out of the ordinary, but unfortunately its execution does not reach that same level of ambition.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 61%

#1163 Halloween 2019: The Unnamable (1988)

A bunch of university students wonder off to an abandoned building where a demon-like creature – The Unnamable – attacks them one by one.

Based on a H. P. Lovecraft’s short story of the same name The Unnamable is dreadfully slow and eventless horror movie that offers no positive surprises or plot twists whatsoever; it plays through pretty much as it starts with no actual highlights along the way. Although the monster makeup is not bad, The Unnamable joins the endless list of horror movies where the end result would’ve been more impactful if the monster was kept in the shadows instead of fully exposing it to the cameras.

Considering that its entire plot could easily fit on a napkin, The Unnamable does flow through easily thanks to good production quality and snappy editing, which remains pretty much its only virtue.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 31%

#1162 Halloween 2019: Flesh-Eating Mothers (1988)

This is not the first time I come across a snappy horror comedy that is kind of a one-off joke that would be perfect for a horror anthology, but can’t really carry through a full length movie.

In fact, it was after 30 minutes to the movie that I began hoping it would wrap up soon.

Other than that, Flesh-Eating Mothers deliveries its corny, tongue in cheek, blood filled theme that the title promises, and rates somewhat above your average horror spoof. Effects, especially the makeup are not state of the art, but what Flesh-Eating Mothers loses in craftsmanship, it makes up in hilarious over the top gore.

80s-o-meter: 78%

Total: 55%

#1161 Halloween 2019: Sundown: Blood Beat (1983)

What do you do when you realise that slashers are the thing, but you still feel like you have something to give to the world of arthouse cinema?

You shoot an artsy slasher like Blood Beat, a truly weird combination of Japanese samurais, mystic possession (with some autoeroticism thrown in), abstract art, classical music by Sergei Prokofiev and Antonio Vivaldi and a story line that doesn’t make sense – nor does it bother to stop and explain itself to the viewer.

The usual shortcomings of shoestring budgeted B-movies goes with Blood Beat, most obvious of which is that the pacing is tediously slow, but I guess I have to give it some credit for trying out something a bit more unorthodox. I’d still much rather watch train wrecks like this than having to sit through yet another Friday the 13th bastardisation.

80s-o-meter: 41%

Total: 18%

#1160 Halloween 2019: Sundown: Biohazard (1985)

If the name Fred Olen Ray rings any bells, you probably know already what to expect from Biohazard: a low budget scifi horror movie hoping one day to be a B-movie.

Long story short, Biohazard is bad. But, it’s also borderline bad enough to be funny. An example: The ‘notorious’ killer who looks like a 5-year old kid running around in a dodgy alien costume makes much more sense when you find out that it is in fact the director’s 5-year old kid running around in a dodgy alien costume.

If you hang around long enough to witness the last five seconds and the almost heartbreaking blooper reel revealing how unprepared most of the actors are and are really struggling with remembering and delivering their lines, there’s no way you can stay completely mad with Biohazard wasting 80 minute of your life.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 51%

#1159 Halloween 2019: Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989)

I totally dug the concept and the looks of Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, but somehow grew bored of the whole vampire aspect of it all too soon.

This very much hindered the mileage I got out of the movie, and although the movie introduces many new little twists, it also embraces all of the clichés of the genre: Vampire bats coffins, crosses, sticks through the heart, even Van Helsing – they’re all here.

Shot in 1989, but officially released only two years later to VHS, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat has since gathered a cult following common no doubt partly due to featuring one Bruce Campbell of The Evil Dead fame.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 61%

#1158 Halloween 2019: Vamp (1986)

On the surface Vamp could’ve been one of the best teen horror comedies of the 80s. But as the it starts to stalling already in the early striptease scene, it soon becomes apparent that the movie is playing with nothing but an empty hand when it comes to the actual plot.

There are multiple single elements here that work tremendously well, but as the manuscript has a fuel for only 30 minutes at best, the pacing of the movie becomes much too slow to make for an interesting watch.

The nocturnal atmosphere of the movie still works well though and the movie offers a good selection of interesting characters that remain the strongest aspect of this movie – just don’t expect this to be the long lost horror comedy gem you’ve been looking for.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 60%

#1157 Halloween 2019: Basket Case (1982)

An indie cult horror comedy Basket Case follows a bizarre story of a deformed half of the formerly conjoined, but separated against their will twins seeking for revenge, while being carried around in a rattan basket.

A pet project of the writer/director Frank Henenlotter, Basket Case is a refreshingly different take on slasher movies and the movie’s mood as well the attacks of the deformed creature are nothing short of nightmarish and haunting.

Although Basket Case can be considered to be ahead its time as an indie horror comedy that punches above its weight, it did feel a bit more dated than I hoped for. Basket Case would go on to spawn two sequels, released in 1990 and 1991, respectively.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 63%

#1156 Halloween 2019: Dead Dudes in the House aka The House on Tombstone Hill (1989)

A group of friends go renovate an old house only to find themselves trapped inside with no way to escape, and taunted by an old woman who tried to lure them away from the herd to turn them to blood thirsty undead.

Dead Dudes in the House is very firmly a B-movie, but punches above its weight and manages to maintain a good balance between having tongue in cheek and being actually haunting and somewhat scary experience. As such it’s one of the definite highlights of Troma Entertainment’s very uneven catalogue of movies.

As often with low budget movies, Dead Dudes in the House was released and re-released in various formats and markets under different titles such as The Dead Come Home, The House on Tombstone Hill and The Road.

80s-o-meter: 72%

Total: 65%

#1155 Halloween 2019: Silent Rage (1982)

A slasher featuring Chuck Norris? Although the movie markets itself as a action crime movie, make no mistake as it takes most of its cues from the contemporary slashers – in good and in bad.

On the bright side, Silent Rage also brings something a little different to the table and manages to move cross-genre in a surprising way. There is even a bit of scifi brought into the mix as we are introduced to the mad scientist who fiddles with the Mother Nature, creating a self healing, relentless kill machine not unlike Michael Myers or Jason.

With this genre of choice many of its banalities are unfortunately also brought in to the mix, including a very disappointing and clichéd last second cliffhanger ending.

80s-o-meter: 68%

Total: 58%