By Johnny Butane
Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)
Directed by Alfred Sole
Wow, now here’s a flick I’ve not thought of in a long while. Made most popular because it was one of the first roles to feature later sexy superstar Brooke Shields, Alice, Sweet Alice tells of a girl brutally murdered during her first communion. Because the suspects are limited in terms of who was actually there, her strange and quiet older sister becomes the main suspect. Suspicions begin to falter, however, as a short killer in a yellow slicker continues a reign of terror.
Art of the Devil/Art of the Devil II (2004/2005)
Directed by Tanit Jitnukul/Pasith Buranajan
Media Blasters throw the two existing Art of the Devil movies together in a two-pack, which makes sense since most people have only ever heard of the second film. The first is about a girl who consults a black magic expert to do away with her lover and his family when she becomes pregnant. The sequel, in name only, is about a group of high school kids who reunite after one of their fathers commits suicide. Strange, fucked up things happen to them at nightfall and black magic is once again showing its face.
Gangs of the Dead (2006)
Directed by Duane Stinnett
Originally called Last Rites before Universal had to go and give it an even worse title, Gangs of the Dead is about two rival gangs on the verge of a major arms deal. They meet in an abandoned warehouse in LA to make the exchange but soon find themselves surrounded by the living dead and having to work with one another in order to survive. Not a whole lot going on plot-wise, but Reggie Bannister’s in it so that alone may be reason for most of you to check it out.
The Hitcher (2007)
Directed by Dave Meyers
Ah, then there’s The Hitcher. An unasked for remake of a classic tension-driven film from the '80s that, unfortunately, didn’t prompt a special edition of the original like these remakes usually do. What a bitch that is. This time instead of a lone guy driving across country and being terrorized by a hitchhiker, we have a beautiful couple on their way across country being terrorized by a hitchhiker (Sean Bean, the film’s only high point). More death, more mayhem, and the most inappropriate use of the Nine Inch Nails song "Closer" that you’ll ever witness.
The Joys of Jezebel/My Tail is Hot (1970/1964)
Directed by A.P. Stootsberry/Peter Perry
In The Joys of Jezebel, a girl named Jezebel dies but is not allowed to enjoy the pleasures of hell until she gets revenge on the man who killed her topside. She makes a deal with the devil to switch bodies with innocent virgin Rachel to enact her revenge, but of course a lot of sex has to come first. My Tail is Hot is what happens when hell is so slow that the devil tries to tempt a man just voted "Most Faithful Husband" with a bevy of naked ladies. The man not only doesn’t buy it, he’s got his own surprises for Old Scratch.
A Secret Handshake (2007)
Directed by Harsha Wardhan
How’s this for fucked up: Jacob is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life until one morning he wakes up to find himself in a hotel room being tortured by a mysterious woman. When he succumbs to his injuries, he passes out, only to awaken safe at home. He thinks it may have been a nightmare but then finds out that he’s been missing for days, and when he falls asleep, it happens all over again. Slowly his grip on what is real and what is not begins to falter before disappearing all together. Too bad the title is so lame; it sounds like a pretty interesting story just from what I was able to find out…
Sex Machine (2005)
Directed by Christopher Sharpe
A re-imagining of Frankenstein with modern-day sensibilities, that’s what Sex Machine sounds like it’s trying to be. A man named Frank (good start) wakes up to find his head wrapped in bandages, one arm sporting a tattoo that says "sex machine" and the other arm completely black. He can’t remember why any of this happened so he tries to get help from his girlfriend, whom he thought was dead. Deadly assassins working for a mad scientist with a vendetta against Frank start to make his life even more miserable as he tries to stay alive long enough to figure out just what the hell happened to him.
The Toybox (2005)
Directed by Paolo Sedazzari
Growing up, young Brian was so dependent on his sister Berenice that he had no idea how he would live without her were she to ever leave. Now it’s years later and Berenice shows up home again with her new boyfriend, leading Brian to thoughts of revenge and betrayal. Meanwhile, as the family tries to enjoy themselves for Christmas, a character resembling the mythical Jake the Mid-Folker is closing in on the house, though I honestly have no idea if that’s a good or bad thing. The Mid-Folker isn’t really the most terrifying of names, is it?