Last week, we touched upon the first chapter of this special five-part Catching Up at the Video Store feature, “College is a Real Killer”. With all those titles focusing on students receiving a free education in Death 101 out of the way, my stack of DVDs has lowered slightly, but there are still an awful lot of horror flicks just-a-clamoring for attention. In fact, they’re more than willing to cut and beat you just so you’ll watch them — no matter how familiar some of their formulas may be to you. And it is in honor of their devotion to horrific duties that I dub this installment “Slashed, Bashed and Rehashed.”
· Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver (2010) (Full Moon Features)
The Short Version: Oh, no, you didn’t! Seriously, you didn’t, did you?
The Slightly-Elongated Version: For those of you who feel life isn’t precious enough to warrant watching your average, run-of-the-mill schlock films, you can rest assured that there are always movies like the Gingerdead Man series to cause you to question any notion you may have as to what sanity is. In this, the third film about a killer cookie (yes, I said “killer cookie”), the titular slasher jumps back in time to the ‘70s (hence the film’s barely-witty subtitle) and begins massacring the contestants of a roller boogie. No wonder disco died, eh? It’s up to a young lass with the power of telekinesis to save the day. Somehow. My brain hurts.
· Grim (2010) (Troma Entertainment)
The Short Version: Gr.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: Few films with single-word titles dare to actually live up to them. In the case of Grim, it’s not exactly clear as to whether or not director/producer/writer/editor Adrian Santiago was out to make a film with a bleak nature, or if it was in his nature to make a bleak film. The story here — set in a future where America’s economy has collapsed (fiction for sure!) — involves a lad named Nicolas Grim, who is out to avenge the murder of his family when he was a young boy. Upon tracking down the men who rubbed his relatives out, he finds they’re part of a private army now — to wit he declares a small case of war on the scumbags.
· Dahmer vs. Gacy (2011) (Virgil Films & Entertainment)
The Short Version: Bloody B-Movie bedlam starring Art LaFleur!
The Slightly-Elongated Version: In the past, there have been dozens of movies based on infamous serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, but passing up the opportunity to capitalize on two of America’s favorite ephebophiliac murderers (well after they had been executed, mind you) is not something any good exploitation filmmaker could do. Here, demented scientist Art LaFleur creates clones of the deadly duo, who promptly escape and go on a killing spree. It’s up to a redneck warrior trained by the voice of God himself (Harland Williams!) to clean up the mess. Irwin Keyes is on-hand as a doctor in this wacky slasher comedy that’s funnier than you’d think.
· Killer Yacht Party (2006) (Troma Entertainment)
The Short Version: Uh-huh, and I bet it’s pronounced “Throatwobbler Mangrove,” too.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: A group of party-crazy LA kids receive an invite for a private bit of revelry on some yayhoo’s plush yacht. But, before everyone in this wild scene can break out in an impromptu number of “I’m On a Boat,” a vengeful spirit (are there any other kinds in these movies?) is on the loose; the ghost of the vessel’s former owner’s wife (or something like that). Well, that’s what they say at least: it’s actually one of them there human beings that’s behind the brutal killings that soon start taking place onboard this voyage into terror, in this thriller by Piotr Uzarowicz (whose name I won’t even try to pronounce). Originally known as Dead in the Water.
· Sledgehammer (1983) (InterVision Picture Corp.)
The Short Version: He wants to be yours. Won’t you call his name?
The Slightly-Elongated Version: The one and only David A. Pryor — the man behind such class-icks as Killer Workout and Deadly Prey (both of which are in my collection, I should point out) — made the world’s first shot-on-video horror film in 1983. For years, the title remained unavailable and was very hard-to-find; until InterVision Picture Corp. made SOV gorehounds all around the globe very happy by releasing it on DVD and — believe it or not — VHS! David’s frequent star (and longtime sibling) Ted stars here as one of several youths whose routine weekend getaway is cut short — and smashed in — by a hammer-wielding psychopath. Also available on VHS.
· Eyes of the Chameleon (2005) (Troma Entertainment)
The Short Version: Not an actual giallo, but an incredible simulation.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: Damn fortune tellers; just when you decide to make something of your life and seek out their advice, they curse you. Or, at least, that’s what happens to Sara (Ann Teal, who also wrote and produced this indie horror flick), a bartender in Las Vegas whose life isn’t all she had hoped it would be. After a trip to a fortune teller, however, things go from bad to worse: her friends start getting knocked off by an unknown assailant, while Sara herself gets involved in a venerable mess of decadence. Who’s behind the killings? What’s the purpose of said murders? And is there actually a reason for that title? Aw, who cares? Enjoy the debauchery!
Happy viewing, kids — and be sure to keep an eye out for the third “Horrible Horror” installment: “You Call This Horror?”