Here it is, my last movie recap of the year. I took in quite a few holiday horror flicks this month in the spirit of Creepmas. Clicking on the linked titles will take you to Amazon so you can purchase these fine, fine movies.
Tick another unseen 80s classic off the list thanks to the Cult Film Club Podcast. I don't know how I missed some of these movies in the 80s. I liked it now and I would have loved it then.
Cool: The car!; Clint Howard with an Eraserhead 'do; the drive-in
Lame: Are we really not supposed to be able to figure out who the Wraith is? Also, it's kinda stupid that his main way of getting rid of people is forcing them to drive into his exploding car.
Rating: 7/10, it's like a sci-fi, non-emo version of The Crow
Christmas Evil aka You Better Watch Out (1980)
This is one of the better holiday horror movies I've seen, but that's not saying much! This one's about a guy who descends into madness because he wants to be Santa. He keeps track of the nice and naughty deeds of the neighborhood kids and sleeps in a Santa suit. Then one day, he snaps and goes on a killing spree but makes time to drop off some toys at the local hospital.
Cool:Although the guy's a little off to start with, watching him get to the breaking point is interesting
Lame: I won't spoil it but the ending is totally WTF
Rating: 6/10, Falling Down with a wannabe Santa
*National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
I don't think I need to go into anything about this. If you haven't seen it by now, there's something wrong with you!
Cool: The jokes still hold up and nothing goes wrong for anyone quite like the Griswolds
Lame: The neighbors. I know we're supposed to hate them but I don't even like them as characters to hate; Edited for TV version
Rating: 7/10, a holiday classic
Sint aka Saint aka Saint Nick (2010)
(Dutch with English dub)
This dark holiday horror doesn't take itself too seriously and knows how to deliver fun. There's killing but it's not overly gory which combined with the humor makes it good for those who are a little squeamish when it comes to horror.
Note: I didn't think of it at the time, but I watched this on FEARnet On Demand, which means some of the violence was likely edited out. It didn't really effect my enjoyment though.
Cool: The street/rooftop chase; The movie is well shot, watch it in HD if you can
Lame: The voice dub for the bald guy about halfway through the trailer, his voice is ridiculously low
Rating: 7.5/10, of the holiday horror I've seen this shoots into #2 behind Santa's Slay
Films to Keep You Awake: The Christmas Tale (2005)
(Spanish with English subs)
The one trailer I found for this gives away too much. A group of kids find an injured woman in a Santa suit that's fallen into well. When they go to tell the police, they find she's a thief wanted for stealing 2 million. The little bastards then try to extort the location of the money from her in exchange for helping her out of the well. One night a couple of the kids perform a zombie ritual they see in a movie and the following morning, the woman has escaped and comes after them. But is she still human or something else?
Cool: There's so much I like about this. It takes place in 1985 so there's bits of 80s pop culture throughout. It's shot almost "Charlie Brown" style where you never see any of the adult's faces except for the woman. The fake movie within the movie "Zombie Invasion" I would love to see as a real movie.
Lame: Some of the kids are downright mean
Rating: 7/10, even when they're being jerks, the kids are great to watch and hold the movie together.
No, not the Michael Keaton movie! This one's a horror comedy about a serial killer turned sentient snowman. It's good for some laughs.
Cool: Holiday themed kills; pre-American Pie Shannon Elizabeth
Lame: The snowman suit looks more cuddly than killer
Rating: 5/10, you could do worse...see below
Jack Frost 2 Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)
It's so bad that it's good and then comes back around to bad! Watched this on FEARnet on Demand it was painfully obvious most of the kills and nudity were cut. And those are about the only things that could save this and make it bearable.
Cool: Not even a killer snowman can make this cool; Although there's a truckload of models I think the best parts were cut by FEARnet on Demand
Lame: It might melt your brain
Rating: 3/10, the only thing horrific in this movie is the "comedy"
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
(Finnish with English Subs)
This my new #2 Christmas movie! I was expecting this to be a lot more slasher-type horror than it was but this is so, so much better!
Cool: An original take on the Santa mythology
Lame: More naked old man peen than you'd ever want to see if you lived forever
Rating: 8.5/10, if you haven't seen this, do it!
Silent Night (2012)
Direct to video remake of the original Silent Night, Deadly Night. Definitely better than the original but I still have some problems with "logic" in the movie.
Cool: Even when Malcolm McDowell seems to be just collecting a check, he's great to watch; A couple of in jokes for fans of the original movies
Lame: One of the chase/kill scenes is done outside in broad daylight, making it more silly than scary; They try to make it a "whodunnit" with red herrings but then slap you in the face at the end because it's not any of the suspects they set up.
Rating: 6/10, I've seen plenty worse holiday slashers
Space Battleship Yamato (2010)
(Japanese with English subs, must be my month for foreign movies!)
NERD ALERT! Starblazers was one of many anime series I loved as a kid. How much did I love it? When school started, it aired just after I had to leave so I setup my cassette recorder in front of the TV so I could listen to it when I got home. Now, I haven't seen it since I was a kid but did this ever take me back. I don't know if you could have a better cartoon to live action movie!
Cool: Live action Starblazers? F* YEAH!; Working the cartoon theme into the score; great effects
Lame: The only thing I didn't love about this was the way it ended
Rating: 9/10, even if you've never seen Starblazers but like sci-fi, check it out!
More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead (2011)
If you're a fan of Return of the Living Dead, then you must see this documentary. Simple as that!
Rating: 9/10, send more reviewers
Ice Cream Man (1995)
Wow, this is a weird one! But what else should you expect when Clint Howard is the main character/villain?
Cool: Plenty of unintended good humor
Lame: For a slasher type movie, you don't get to see a lot of the kills
Rating: 6/10, recommended for its camp value alone
If someone dropped acid and watched Barbarella, Planet of the Apes and Logan's Run at the same time, Zardoz would be the movie they remember watching. I was expecting this to be a lot worse based on everything I'd heard about it but I kinda enjoyed it. I happened to watch this one on Apocalypse Day.
Cool: Some of the concepts make for interesting sci-fi
Lame: Watching Connery run around mostly naked for the entire movie
Rating: 6.5/10, I think it's more weird than bad
New Year's Evil (1980)
Only fitting that I watched this on New Year's Eve. I think if this had come out a few years later, it could have benefited (and been better) from having established slasher genre cliches to draw on. I like the idea of a west coast killer offing someone as the clock hits midnight in each US time zone. Also interesting is the fact that you spend most of the movie with the killer instead of his victims.
Cool: Recognize the female lead? It's Pinky Tuscadero! (I'm more of a Leather man, myself); there's some great music, like the title track New Year's Evil
Lame: I'm not sure he really could be killing someone at the top of every hour; the soundtrack needs a proper release
Rating: 5.5, I'd say it's worth watching on NYE with friends and beverages
New: 14, Rewatch: 0
New: 14, Rewatch: 0
Year To-Date Final Total
New: 141, Rewatch: 16
Happy New Year!