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Featured Post - Mystery Movie Marathon

I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Mad Cow (2010)

This movie kicks off with a woman blowing up a cow man or maybe a cow man zombie with an explosive sausage link. Well movie you have my attention! The opening credits roll with a Masterpiece Theater style page flipping sequence. Again, that is pretty funny. After the credits we see a cat jump scare followed closely with a clown jump scare/gag. Then the chef who was the victim of these is killed by someone or something. I mean given the name of the movie I’m going to assume the perpetrator is bovine in nature.

Our main characters are Charlize, a woman who works at a resort in the South African bush… heh that pays off in a really funny joke later. Also working there is detective Vince Chopper and his partner. They are undercover to investigate a mad scientist who works at a nearby company. This is the same scientist that creates the monster which goes on the killing spree. It is up to Vince and Charlize to stop the monster and all the zombified human cow hybrids it creates. Not sure how that last one works into the story, but it doesn’t matter that much.

Mad Cow is an insanely funny movie. Almost every scene has some sort of pun or joke as a payoff. Most of them land and many are set up (like the already mentioned South African bush) far ahead of time. From animal sounds that are clearly just people meowing, croaking, and growling to Vince’s inability to correctly identify the most basic animals of the surrounding bush the movie is funny. Two of my favorites are the pole dancer who is a polish guy dancing around in a I Love Warsaw t-shirt. The other is a bit spicier with Charlize on the phone petting the cat that just came in from the rain. When asked what she is doing she replies, “Just stroking my wet…” well I think you can fill in the rest. These are just a couple examples of the many jokes that had me cracking up.

This is a monster movie, so I suppose we need to talk about the special effects. There are some kills including a cleaver to the face and a chainsaw thru the torso. These are great but given the tiny budget (apparently less than fifty thousand) they are impressive. The titular mad cow is funny and is just a dude in a suit. That seems entirely appropriate for this flick. They also do a decent job with the various infected/zombie humans. Again, it isn’t elaborate but given the budget and the fact that this is a comedy I was fine with what I saw.

I sit thru a lot of bad independent movies to review for the site. That is doubly so when they are supposed to be horror comedies. Being funny is much harder to pull off then being gross, but Mad Cow does an excellent job. This is one that I can recommend without hesitation. Find yourself a copy and get ready for ninety minutes of laughs.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Friday, July 22, 2022

Teenage Monster (1957)

I’ve spent most of my life tracking down and watching every fifties monster movie available. Somehow, I keep finding new to me flicks which is what keeps me excited about this hobby and always on the lookout for new to me stuff. Teenage Monster is one of those that I recently stumbled over.

It is eighteen eighty and we meet a family struggling to get their gold mine to pay off. There is Ma, Pa, and their young son Charley. After a brief introduction we see a meteor hit the mine killing Pa and mutating Charley. He has a terrible scar on his face which is how we realize thru a helpful onscreen prompt that seven years have passed he is now the large hairy bigfoot looking creature. If his incredible strength and childlike mind aren’t dangerous enough, he also has an anger issue and overreacts to stress. The rest of the movie is him killing random folks until he grabs a girl named Kathy. She seems nice but manipulates him into doing some killing for her. But Charley isn’t stupid just naive and eventually he figures things out. The only way his Ma can be happy and free is for him to go. Since she is blackmailing Ma, he takes Kathy with him!

Not only is this a new to me fifties monster movie but it is also a western! I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get as much cowboy action as Charley sneaks around and stays in the shadows. But then they also establish that while he is very strong, he isn’t immune to a Winchester rifle. So, I guess that it would have been a much shorter movie. Though it does only clock in at a little over an hour which makes for a briskly paced bit of cheesy fun. The story wastes little time before getting the ball rolling. The bodies start to drop rather quickly as Charley smashes anyone he finds… well most everyone. When he meets Kathy, he kidnaps her and brings her home to have a friend. I also think he gets a bit of a crush on her. This leads up to a neat bit of messing with our expectations when Kathy turns out to be not so innocent and immediately becomes a villain. I didn’t see that coming and appreciated it.

The cast is solid and filled with working character actors and “B” list faces that you will have seen before. The highlight for me was seeing Gloria Castillo as Kathy. She is one of my favorites from the fifties for her performance in Invasion of the Saucermen. Anne Gwynne is Ma and appeared in House of Frankenstein as well as Murder in the Blue Room which I need to cover during my next mystery marathon. Like I said there is some talent here and they give it their all.

The thing that most surprised me about Teenage Monster was how well they did with the creature design. It basically looks like bigfoot in clothes, but it works. They use some forced perspective and platform boots to make the monster look larger than he is which I love. Old school Hollywood tricks are still the best in my book. The killings aren’t explicit, but then this is a fifties flick so you wouldn’t expect them to be. Basically, he strangles or pounds his victims until they die.

This was a fun way to kill an hour. You get a sympathetic monster, a scheming villain, some comeuppance in the end, and sort of a happy ending as Ma, while sad, is finally free to continue her life. They put a lot of effort into what many would have considered a throwaway “B” picture. I appreciate that and recommend everyone check out Teenage Monster.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Thursday, July 21, 2022

4 Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse (1997)

This has been an almost impossible review to finish. I’ve found myself arguing back and forth in my head about this flick. On one hand the critical part of my brain is shouting that it is awful, on the other hand I kind of dug it. I sincerely hope that what follows may make some sense to you.

The movie starts off with a bubbly cheerleader getting gunned down by some annoyed folks. Don’t worry this won’t be referenced again so just enjoy it and move on. Then we see a farmer run thru with a pitchfork. This is important as he was also the local science teacher at the vocational school. His replacement, Alex, forms a relationship with the dead teacher’s stepdaughter who is also the new coach of the four-person cheerleader squad. Her name is Rebecca, and she is a mom, but don’t worry that doesn’t matter either. When we first meet her she is wearing a bunny costume and is puking her guts out after partying too hard the night before.

The rest of the movie is the pair, Alex and Rebecca, trying to figure out why people are being killed in horrific ways. They eventually sort out that the local agricultural corporation’ Golden Harvest, was doing experiments, which Rebecca’s stepfather was involved in. These experiments have made anyone exposed to the chemical go a bit homicidal as well as kicking their sex drive up to eleven. Did I forget to mention that Elvis lives in the town and gives the occasional sage advice while fixing a car without an engine? Weird flick.

This movie is shot on video with terrible picture and audio quality. The narrative is almost nonexistent as we jump from one random scene to another with just a basic story struggling to connect them. There are dream sequences that aren’t explained, and the pacing suffers from unnecessarily repetitive gags that lose their edge on reuse. With all that out of the way I’m struggling to explain why I like 4 Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse.

The dubbing is intentionally bad, and the music choices were hopefully made to lean into the laughs. Alex does narration to fill in the gaps and while that normally annoys me as it is lazy filmmaking, he randomly switches to his best Forest Gump impression. I felt like this was an acknowledgement of how cheap and bad of a filmmaking tool this is and that had me smiling. I also enjoyed the random Magnum P.I. references that I’m sure very few people got, even in the late nineties. Toss in the goofy autopsies with spraying blood and the chain-smoking zombified school principal and you have a movie that isn’t like anything else I’ve seen before. I also totally forgot the gratuitous car wash butt closeups!

If what I’ve written intrigues you then you are probably going to have fun with 4 Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse. On the other hand, if this sounds boring then I can guarantee you that it will be a miserable slog to get thru. I can see both opinions to be valid. See why this was a hard review for me to write. I just don’t know what to think.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Monday, July 18, 2022

The Hell’s Gate (1989)

Sometimes you just need to buckle down and watch an Umberto Lenzi flick. Wait… am I only one that things that way? I certainly hope not. This isn’t because I think his stuff is awesome but because I’m the kind of guy that likes to share the misery.

People in the woods are monitoring a fellow researcher who is trying to set the new record for living in a cave. Because you know… science! He starts to hallucinate about weird religious images and then seems to disappear right in front of the cameras. Then we see a woman and her companion taking pictures of the ruins of an old monastery. They talk about how they are connected to a maze of tunnels and then they drive off. Sure enough right to the camp from before. A rescue mission is being sent down to find their friend and because they are archaeologists and have a map of the tunnels, they are able to force themselves on the team.

They go into the tunnels, the lights explode, they split up, and folks start to die! It turns out that seven Satanic Monks were locked away in the tunnels and after seven hundred years they are back for some vengeance. The rest of the movie is them trying to escape as they keep splitting up and dying. Do they make it out? Is it all a horrible fake out? Was this just a nightmare? I honestly don’t know. It is that kind of movie.

The story has potential with the monks and the underground setting. We start off with some cool camera angles and lighting so I had hope that this might be a good time. But after about half an hour the movie runs out of steam and became a chore to get thru. We get shot after shot of characters wandering around in the dark before something that can’t quite be made out gets them. While a couple of the deaths are interesting, we also get an extended spiders slowly creeping towards a terrified actor. And I do mean slowly as in please hurry up and kill this dude! Again, it was difficult to sit thru.

Our spelunking cast
There are also some awful music choices as there is a loud synth soundtrack blaring over what should be creepy and quiet moments. There are a lot of these. Though I suppose I didn’t help by watching a VHS of The Hell’s Gate for this review. Though that seemed right somehow so I make no apologies.

We have a respectable seven kills, if of course it wasn’t a dream. There is an axe to the noggin, three knife stabbings, and my personal favorite a portcullis to the eyeball. That last one is a kill I’ve never seen on screen before, so I give them props for that. If you are hoping for some Satanic Monks done in the tradition of the Tombs of the Blind Dead, you will be disappointed. They can take many forms including normal looking guys in robes and slow ass spiders. None of them being at all memorable.

Listen I knew what I was getting when I sat down to watch a Lenzi flick. But even with that in mind this is a terribly monotonous mess of a movie. Other than a couple neat death scenes the story and pacing had me watching the clock for the last hour or so of its runtime. I can’t recommend this one at all.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Friday, July 15, 2022

Cat Girl (1957)

Lenora Johnson is returning to her family home to inherit some money and the estate. She brings her friends and new husband with her, so she doesn’t have to be alone. She has bad memories about the house which are proven to be correct when she is told by her uncle that it is time for the family curse to be passed to her. He is killed by a large leopard that then becomes the “other” part of her. She is of two minds, one human and the other animal. At first it isn’t clear what this curse means. But when she sees her husband cheating with her friend the anger boils over and the leopard kills him.

An old love of hers, Brian, is there to treat her as he is a psychiatrist. Eventually she is locked up in an asylum for treatment but gets “better”. In reality it is a ploy to be released so that she can win him back now that she is single. The big issue with that is Brian is already happily married so of course his wife has to go. This leads to the big finale where the leopard is stalking the alleys of the bad side of town as Brian races to save his wife. What happens? Lets just say that we find out what the consequences to the woman and leopard when their link is permanently severed!

I honestly expected a creature feature like Wasp Woman or The Fly with a person turning into a hybrid monster that terrorizes the rest of the cast. What I got was this melodramatic movie that leans more into the atmosphere then it does the horror. The story revolves around Lenora and her mental issues. For part of the movie, we aren’t even sure if this is a legit curse or if it is just a coincidence that people are dying around her. I mean there are only two deaths, that of her uncle and husband, both on an estate where a dangerous animal is running amok. It really doesn’t become clear until the action moves to the city, and she is clearly changed by her new dual personality/nature. We don’t even get a rubber suited critter but instead have footage of an actual leopard moving around the sets and when needed a stuffed version for the cast to interact with.

This is the second time in recent memory where I’ve run into a movie that was inspired by the Val Lewton classic Cat People. The other was the odd made for television flick The Cat Creature. I thought that was a cheesy fun flick but here it is different. This is a well-made movie that embraces what made Lewton’s movie so great. The sets are very gothic which is enhanced by some beautiful camerawork and lighting. This is a very pretty movie and shows an attention to detail that I hadn’t expected when I thought it was going to be a monster movie. The music adds to the atmosphere and the acting is solid. The pacing can be a bit slow if you were expecting a lot of creature action, but once I realized what we were getting I was able to switch gears and enjoy the overall creepy vibe that Cat Girl provides.

By no means should anyone think that this is as good as Cat People. But there is a lot of good things going for this one, as I stated above. I just wanted to make some connections so that you knew what you are getting yourself into. For this review I watched the British print which is slightly longer. I don’t know what might have been cut for U.S. release and if that would make any difference. I highly recommend checking out Cat Girl.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Choose or Die (2022)

The story starts off with a man who by the look of his mancave is living in the past, specifically the eighties. With that in mind it isn’t too surprising that he fires up an old text-based adventure game on his computer and starts to play. What is unexpected is when the game starts to cause real life horrors to happen. 

Then the action shifts to our main character Kayla. She is a streetwise computer programmer who has dropped out of school and spends her time working an evening job cleaning up a strange office building with a crew. When not doing that, she hangs out with a likeminded computer nerd named Isaac. He gets recycled old equipment and with that comes a copy of a game called Cursed. We soon find out that when Kayla fires it up it is the same game we saw played earlier. The real-life horrors start to happen as she is forced to play the game. Eventually we find out that the code contains an ancient curse or maybe a spell is more accurate. Either way she is forced to play it out. Which leads her back to the man from the beginning. 

This is an interesting movie. I’ve not seen a story quite like this before with the video game or more specifically the code containing a curse. This adds a magical twist to the proceedings that is neat. Toss in the basic graphics of the old school text-based game, which if I’m honest was how I initially got hooked on computer games, and I was invested right away. I love it when I sit down to a watch something, and it gives me a story that I’ve not seen before. I was guessing until the end as to how it was going to end. Spoilers… who I thought they were setting up as the antagonist was completely wrong. I love it when this happens and to me shows that they spent a good deal of time and effort in writing a script.  

I would call Choose or Die a gorefest, it isn’t that sort of movie. But there are a few cringeworthy moments and a couple of interesting death scenes. We have a waitress compelled to eat glass all while wondering what is happening to her. There is a lot of blood and crying which I found disturbing. Kayla also is dealing with some guilt over the drowning death of her little brother which pays off in a couple of ways. One is when the game forces her to choose between him and her friend Isaac. The other comes into play when she has to deal with the “villain” at the end. I won’t give too much away but this one is also a kick to the gut. There is also a tongue cut out, some family “modifications”. The best kill though is the death by video tape. Who knew living in an analog world could be so dangerous?

This isn’t a perfect movie. There are a few pacing issues and I wish that we had more of the kills and blood, but overall it isn’t too shabby. Again, the story is unique and plays out differently than I anticipated. If you get the chance to check out Choose or Die, I’d say you should give it a shot. 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Monday, July 11, 2022

Super Hot (2021)

I saw a trailer for this on Amazon Prime and immediately was interested. It looked like one of those quirky low budget horror comedy flicks that I might enjoy. I had some issues streaming it but a few months later I remembered and tried again. It obviously worked this time.

The movie kicks off with some sketchy guys trading a book for some scarabs. I’m not sure what that is about since they never explain it. The ladies who get the book kill one of the guys and the leader casually walks by and tells him he is lucky that he isn’t her type. I suppose this is to show us that they are badass killers. After this we are introduced to Jackie, a delivery driver for Super Hot pizza. She is on her last day of work and at the end of her shift she hangs out wit her friends Sam and Kevin. We also find out that Jackie has a crush on her neighbor Carmen, who is moving into a sorority house.

The ladies from before are the sisters living in the house with Carmen. It becomes obvious that they are up to no good when they try to spike Jackie’s drink. Sam saves her but in the process the leader of the ladies, Monica, sends someone after them. For whatever reason they want them back at the house. Well, okay the reason is that they have a ritual they want to do that will grant them eternal life. But I think that they are already vampires… I’m really confused about the rules. They have fangs and supernatural powers but can also walk around in the daylight. Eventually a Van Helsing shows up and the bodies start to drop.

Vampires out in the daylight?
My biggest issue with Super Hot is that they never establish the “rules” for their vampires. Like I said it isn’t obvious until one of them pops fangs that they even are that. I mean do vampires age because that is their motivation for getting the book and capturing their victims. I get that this is a comedy and is playing it for laughs, but you still need to have a story that makes sense. This movie feels more like a series of improvised nerdy conversations that are loosely strung together by a faulty narrative about vampires, rituals, and resurrecting Dracula. Oh yeah, that is the goal of the ritual.

I did enjoy some of the nerdy stuff like shopping for action figures and talking about recasting marvel movies if they were made in the nineties. It feels a little bit like a Kevin Smith flick, only without the heart.  Still there are some laughs so they did the comedy well. My favorite gag is when Dracula shows up and has some old-fashioned ideas that our modern female vampires aren’t okay with. They don’t want to just be the “brides of Dracula” you see. The character of Warren Van Helsing is also fun, and he has some great lines. But it is also obvious that they are trying to do some world building as characters are introduced and go nowhere. Like his faire lady friend who is keeping his guns for him. There is clearly more to this story. We even get a stinger at the end that he will return with Sam in another adventure. I get the idea but maybe make the first movie good before trying to expand.

The kills are very disappointing. You get some snapped necks, a shotgun to the chest that cuts away quickly, and lots of offscreen stuff. The best of the bunch is a cut back to one of the vampires after a grenade belt blows her in half. You get to see the actress lying on the ground with her guts dangling out. Simple gag to pull off but it works. Other than that, there is nothing here. Again, I get that this movie was leaning into the comedy, but you still need to have something for the horror crowd.

I’ve been hard on Super Hot. It had a lot of potential and at times was fun but overall, it feels like a missed opportunity. I don’t hate the movie and if you are interested, I’d say give it a shot. That said I think this same sort of idea was far better executed in I Had a Bloody Good Time at House Harker.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Uncle Sam (1996)

Time to be honest with you the readers. I thought that I had already covered this one for the website, but it turns out that I haven’t. With the 4th of July just past I figured it was about time that I talk a bit about Uncle Sam, the most patriotic of slasher flicks.

A young boy named Jody idolizes his dead uncle for his military service. Of course, his uncle was named Sam, so the title works in a couple of ways. Year after being killed in the Gulf War his body is found and returned home. The chopper that Sam piloted was shot down by friendly fire, which may be why he comes back to life. Not sure about that. But the important thing is that Sam climbs out of his coffin and decides to punish those unpatriotic locals by killing them. But then he also starts randomly killing people too. Who the heck really cares since this is about his zombie looking butt dressing up as Uncle Sam and going on a killing spree. Eventually Jody sees the truth and with the help of a veteran, played by Isaac Hayes, he puts an end to things.

This is a solidly made and fun flick. The story is paced evenly with enough kills spaced out to keep things rolling along. The characters are decent despite the script being a bit weak. They never explain the how and why of Sam’s return which might have made the movie all the more entertaining. I get that this is about a zombified killer and isn’t based in reality, but I like my horror flicks to have rules I can predict. Though the filmmakers make the brilliant decision of filling the cast out with some awesome character actors that I think make up for the deficiencies in the plot.

I’ve already mentioned Isaac Hayes, who has a decent role. But we also get the likes of William Smith, Bo Hopkins, Timothy Bottoms, P.J. Soles, and the amazing Robert Forster in small parts. Though each of them is given something fun to do whether it is dropping some great lines or getting a cool death scene. I’m not too surprised since this is directed by William Lustig from a script by Larry Cohen. Just read thru the names I mentioned. These actors, writers, and director are responsible for some of my favorite movies. Though if I’m going to be completely honest, and I always am, this is also a bit disappointing. While I dig it this could have been a top-notch horror flick if they had spent just a bit more time polishing the script.

The kills are rather tame, but fun. There is a snapped neck, a face on a grill, some handgun action, some cannon action, and some garden shear action. Though my favorite kills are the patriotic themed death by flagpole thru the chest and the fireworks explosion! The movie tends to pull away from the good stuff so don’t set your expectations too high. But then this was the mid to late nineties, so the days of in-your-face gore hadn’t returned yet.

Uncle Sam is a frustrating flick. It could have been an excellent last hurrah from some killer actors and one of the best director/writer duos of the eighties. Instead, it comes off more as a neutered not quite as good as what came before horror movie that sadly fits in with most of what that decade of meh (aka. the nineties) gave us. There is some fun here but also many missed opportunities. If you haven’t seen this one then give it a chance, just manage your expectations.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Monday, July 4, 2022

Trapped Alive (1988)

Still digging for slasher movies. This one popped up on my radar after a recent Blu-Ray release. Made in eighty-eight it didn’t get released for five years until someone finally put it out on VHS. This concerns me because it doesn’t appear to have been caught up in some legal shenanigans and with the need for product in the late eighties pretty much anything could get a release. Oh well let’s see what we have here.

Things kick off with a guard walking down the halls of a prison. He is lifted up and his neck is snapped. There is a prison break in progress. Then the movie shifts to a Christmas party at the house of big shot lawyer John Adams, played by veteran actor Cameron Mitchell. This is to establish that he has a daughter named Robin who leaves and goes off with her friend Monica to celebrate the holiday. They meet up with the escaped convicts and get carjacked. This leads them to a backroad to avoid a roadblock. 

The truck crashes thru a mine entrance and they become trapped with a cannibal who is a bit peckish. We also get a deputy who stumbles into the caretaker’s house, beds the lonely housewife of said caretaker, and then ends up in the mine looking for the escapees. Oh yeah and if you didn’t see it coming the wife may have something to do with the cannibal in the mine. Stuff happens, people die, and then the credits roll. 

I’m not sure how to feel about Trapped Alive. Doing this marathon for the last six years I’ve sat thru some miserable flicks that were made to cash in on the popularity of the slasher movie. While not that bad this one does suffer from terrible pacing with far too much time spent on random stuff like the deputy’s escapades with the married woman and her eventual twist ending. The movie also does this odd thing where we keep switching back to Cameron Mitchell’s character at the party and even taking a nap afterwards. This is disappointing because when we have people wandering around in the dark is when the movie is at it’s best. This constant switch back and forth destroys any chance and building momentum in the main story. 

We only get five kills… well I suppose seven. But the last two are implied. One of the five is the killer so that sort of sucks. The guard gets his neck snapped during the jailbreak so in reality the cannibalistic killer only gets three kills! Actually, someone goes thru the window during the crash and dies of his injuries, so the killer only gets two of them. Damn it movie this isn’t what I signed up for! To be fair though he does get to nibble on his guts so that is sort of fun. There is a hook thru the face and some neck chewing that I dug, another person gets a face full of glass, and the best of them is a spear thru the mouth. Holy crap we get a mercy killing with a bullet thru the head before they can be eaten to death. The killer only gets one victim! 

I did like the look of the miner. We get to see him several times and the makeup is solid. That is probably the best part of Trapped Alive. His backstory seems familiar. He was trapped in a collapse with seventeen other men. He was the only one who survived and well a man has to eat. I suppose once you go cannibal you never go back. This was a very Harry Warden style origin story, though to be crystal clear the movie isn’t anywhere as good as My Bloody Valentine. 

I can’t recommend spending twenty plus dollars on the Blu-Ray release. There isn’t enough here to make it worth watching a second time around, so it doesn’t need to be in anyone’s collection. If you can rent it or catch it streaming maybe killing ninety minutes on it is okay. Again, I’ve seen much worse. 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Friday, July 1, 2022

Evil Laugh (1986)

What is that sound? It is me scraping the bottom of the barrel for slasher movies. Yes my friends after five annual marathons I’m starting to run out of stuff to cover. But I continue to dig and this time around I have a movie for you that has sort of a pedigree. It was directed and produced by Dominic Brascia who is best known for trying to share a candy bar with an angry man cutting wood in Friday the 13th Part V. If that doesn’t get your attention the movie also stars Scott Baio’s brother Steven. Well, I did warn you…

The movie opens with a realtor getting a house ready for some prospective new buyers to check it out over a long weekend. There is also a delivery guy bringing groceries to stock up the pantry for them. This is important since both the first guest who arrives and the delivery guy are attacked by a mysterious figure in black. Later we find out that the house used to be a home for foster children and in the past a young man named Martin was accused by them of being a molester. He wasn’t but it didn’t end well as even after he was cleared, he returned to the house and killed all the kids!

There is your backstory and after we find that out the rest of the flick is the killer stalking and murdering the rest of the guests. Will they unravel the mystery and identify the killer? Will they even notice that someone is killing them? Do they realize that they have eaten the testicles from one of their murdered friends? These questions and others will be answered… sort of.

This isn’t a good movie at all. The pacing is a bit uneven with most of the kills backloaded into the second half of the movie. In fact, it is my understanding that the distributors made them go back and include the delivery guy getting killed just to even things out pacing wise. We also have a character that likes to talk about movies and compares their situation to different flicks like Ten Little Indians, Halloween, and Friday the 13th. A quick note to filmmakers. Don’t remind me of movies I’d much rather be watching then yours! To top everything off we get an inexplicably stupid ending that feels tacked on in a hope that they would maybe get some sequels. Thank goodness that didn’t happen.

The Infamous Microwave kill!
The acting is wooden, the dialogue stilted, and the plot a bit silly. Steven Baio is no Don Swayze and lacks the charisma to carry a movie. We get some of the worst generic eighties music in what is a very bad soundtrack. The go to song that gets played again and again is annoying. The gore is bad, even for the late eighties when the genre had been neutered. Most of the onscreen kills are simple stabbings with blood trickling out of mouths. We do get an axe to a noggin’ which is fun and the kill that most fans remember from this one, death by microwave! But other than that, the kills are utterly forgettable.

To be fair I’ve seen much worse attempts at slasher movies. If you had to choose between this and something like the Camp Blood movies, then obviously you choose Evil Laugh. And I suppose if you are a slasher movie nerd like me you need to check out the microwave kill. But there isn’t much more to recommend this one.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer