Another movie that took part of the early 80s 3D craze, Amityville 3-D (like the formerly reviewed Silent Madness) has since then seen a Blu-Ray release in good old 2D. Excluding the overall blurriness towards the edges of the screen, and the few awkward scenes obviously set up with 3D in mind, the movie luckily does not suffer from its 3D origins much.
And as the case was with Silent Madness, this third installation in the Amityville series is actually quite potent horror movie, contrary to all the expectations.
Apparently a cult classic of some sort due to its inventive use of horror FX, the effects are nice (even great) – but pretty much all of what Spookies has to offer.
More precisely, it’s the better than expected effects that make the other, below the average aspects of the movie look quite bad in comparison: the werewolf like creature roaming the forest for example, laughable. The 300-year old owner of the house, plain bad. There are a group of quests constantly branching off to different sections of the mansion to make themselves easier targets for the evil, quite uninspired.
On the other hand the birthday party, farting mud monsters and the possessed lady: all pretty cool, with the rest of the segments falling somewhere in between.
Spookies is more of a theme park right than an actual movie, which makes recommending it without urging to jump to the juicy bits – and skipping the boring – quite hard.
Ahem, so okay.. Apparently there’s a Necromancer living in this suburban garage who then helps one girl to take revenge on a gang of fellow high school students that raped her.
Necromancer is an exceptionally bad and credibility look into supernatural mumbo-jumbo, coupled with some piss poor special effects. And I’m being polite here.
I just skimmed through the movie once again before rating it to see if it would have any redeeming qualities to mention. But no – the movie starts ok but just keeps getting gradually worse and worse towards the end.
Just as I wrote Silent Madness having the most pissed poor antagonist ever seen on the silver screen, along comes Memorial Valley Massacre, violently screaming Silent Madness to hold its beer.
What Memorial Valley Massacre tries to sell us is a concept of some sort of a prehistoric man living in the wilderness, who then starts to – you guessed it – wasting all the campers. Both the look and feel of the movie as well as the dodgy make up of the antagonist (think: someone remembered a costume party in the last minute, and had to make do with things found from home) made me wonder if this was some sort of weird joke I was witnessing, but it seems this wasn’t the case.
Memorial Valley Massacre is one of those movies that fail on all aspects, totally failing to scare or entertain. To try to make up for the bad sales the movie was later rebranded as Son of Sleepaway camp to try to ride on the success of Sleepaway Camp series, another severe faux pas for the movie.
Silent Madness is another early 80s 3-D movie that I immediately anticipated to stink to high heavens – but that contrary to all the expectations turned out a-ok.
The fact that I enjoyed Silent Madness seems even more implausible given the fact that it has probably the weakest antagonist I’ve ever seen in a slasher. Honestly, it looks like they applied some eye make up up to the production company janitor and just send him in front of cameras.
Luckily he is not actually even the main source for the suspension in the movie; it’s the corrupt asylum, its rotten doctors and their henchman orderlies that provide Silent Madness most of its thrills.
Let’s start off with a piece of trivia: this movie was at first called King Cobra, but later changed to Jaws of Satan in an attempt to try and piggyback on the Jaws movie series’ success.
In the movie Satan has taken the form of a snake, and after a small killing spree starts tormenting Father Tom. In other words, this is one of those scary movies that relies leans heavily on the religious, supernatural themes.
There isn’t much good to be said about the movie itself as it’s really quite uninspired, other than that Fritz Weaver does a performs well as the flawed man of spirit. The fans of Christina Applegate might be also interesting to her debuting in the movie.
Preceding Blair Witch Project ten years, The McPherson Tape took that same home video approach to create a ”lost” tape, an evidence that documents the scary moments unfolding before our eyes.
The approach is powerful as it effectively makes the viewer one of the few eye witnesses to the incident, and also give the footage certain mythical and forbidden flavour. While McPherson Tape nails the home video look & feel and the overall flow of the tableside conversations feel genuine, the actual interesting content of the movie is just about two or three minutes out of the 62 minute running time.
More interesting the the movie content (it’s not very interesting) or its scariness (not very scary) is the viral aspect that McPherson Tape managed to gain: the movie got spread around as VHS copies for years, with people who were sure this was the official proof for extraterrestrial life. The actual, official truth only came out years later as the official release, long time after VHS was no more.