Thursday, December 15, 2011

VHS Memories VIII: 50 Movie Pack Frenzy Part 1

I've got a few of those crummy 50 movie packs laying around.  The goal today?  Try and get my damn money's worth!  This may be a little scatter shot as I have no idea how far I'll be able to get in each of these films.  To be honest, the main reason some films fall into the public domain and end up on sets like is because, well, they're just unwatchable.

The expression on the face of the poor guy on the box is about as much emotion as you are likely to see here since this riff on The Fly is deadly dull and silly.  Written by George Eastman (pity he doesn't act here), it tells the tale of a young research scientist whose experiments turn him into some sort of weird dinosaur thing.  It's pretty awful on all levels.

From the director of the original My Bloody Valentine comes this tale of astral projection and murder as a man tries to improve his life through said astral projection only to find that he's unconsciously going on a killing spree.  Yeah.  Karen Black is about the only thing really worth watching here in this rather dull outing.  It's not horrible, just not especially good either.

Here's one that's actually sort of okay.  James Earl Jones stars in this monster movie from 1982 about an ancient sea monster eating nubile young women on a small Greek island.  It's got reasonable pacing, Jones is solid as usual and in a very smart move, the film doesn't show much of the monster.  This is good because what we do see is less than impressive.  The film does tend to get a bit on the talky side but honestly, it's only 82 minutes and if nothing else, you get some nice scenery to look at.

This is a really bad sci-fi film from Italy concerning astronauts helping an alien world fight off an evil force that has taken over their planet and is sending it on a collision course with Earth.  It's colorful and entertainingly silly, as most Italian Star Wars knockoffs tend to be but man is it a slog to get through at times!  I  think my favorite thing about cheap Italian sci-fi is the cheesy star fields they come up with.  Here, we get a bunch of cheap asteroids and stuff but as we move on, a few more impressive sights will appear.  Overall, I prefer Starcrash to this.

Here's a bad piece of 70's sleaze about a deranged killer who targets...Well, you can guess from the title.  Bad acting, some admittedly enthusiastic gore and not a hell of a lot else.  Probably my favorite bit is the first kill where a guy is trying to hear the movie while his annoyingly horny (yes, there is such a thing) girlfriend whines at him.  He gets his head chopped off and for a low budget slasher film from 1976, it looks real damned good.  Still, this is definitely one to miss.

This is a surprisingly good little horror film from Canada starring Lesleh Donaldson (a regular in early 80's slashers) as a young woman looking to turn her grandmother's old place into a bed and breakfast.  The house used to be a funeral home and sure enough, creepy things begin happening.  Naturally, there's a killer on the loose and it all builds up to...Well, sort of a lame ending.  It's very seventies in the way it goes about telling the story.  Both in a good way (decent setup) and in a bad way (the endings of these sorts of movies generally aren't so hot).  Still, it's worth a look.

We finish things off with one of the best Lee/Cushing pairings of all time.  Horror Express is a fun Spanish horror flick about an ancient life sucking alien that gets loose on a train and begins imitating the passengers.  It's pretty much a British/Spanish version of The Thing with Lee as the scientist who has discovered the creature, Cushing as a colleague and Telly Savalas as a Cossack soldier who turns up in the last twenty minutes.  It's really fantastic.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.