Netflix streaming makes it easy to watch one horror film a day during Halloween season, it just doesn't make it easy to watch a GOOD horror film.
There is a lot of schlock on Netflix Streaming which is why I find it interesting how they've treated their customers. If you're going to raise the rates, shouldn't you give us the good stuff?
Oh well. Another rant, another time.
We begin this year's Horror 101 with Backwoods, a film that caught my eye because it starred Haylie Duff.
Haylie Duff grabs top billing
I have to admit I had very little hope for this film. The backwoods hillbillies attacking camping teens is probably the most overdone theme in horror. Without even trying, I've already watched three of those films during this years viewings, and they're pretty much all the same.
Right at the start the signs were bad. Haylie Duff looked really bored. She gets better as the film goes on, so apparently she was just in character. I've been to a lot of staff meetings, I get it.
Haylie Duff looking like she wishes she was somewhere else
The basic plot of the film is a group of employees from a tech firm head off into the woods for a little team building by camping and playing paintball. They get lost, of course, and end up getting directions from the worlds creepiest bartender.
Would you take directions from this guy?
In addition to the stopping at the worst bar on the planet, there are missing signs posted everywhere for the last couple that came through this area. Most of us would have already turned back by now, but not the tech geeks. They seem pretty oblivous to their surroundings.
Ignore the signs, nothing to see here
The teams arrive, split into two groups, set up camp, and the fun begins. As soon as they begin the paintball game it's obvious something is wrong. The maps they brought of the national park don't seem to match the area they're in. Hey, did that guy give us the wrong directions?
It gets worse. Before the blue and green teams can meet up to figure out what's going on, there is a lot of screaming and crying from the green team over the radio. Yep, they've met the backwoods boys.
Haylie Duff realizing this isn't going to be as fun as she thought
Up to this point it's pretty much what you'd expect, but I have to admit it takes a turn for the better. First of all the tech geeks fight back. Instead of disappearing one by one, they are rounded up and taken to the headquarters in the woods. Headquarters? Yes, I said headquarters. You see, these aren't the typical inbred monsters that appear in each of these films. These are crazy former military guys who are trying to protect themselves from unknown forces. That little twist makes it slightly more interesting and also explains how our heroes keep making bad decisions. After all, if I guy in a uniform drives up you're going to get in his car, right?
Haylie Duff realizes she's gotten in the wrong car
For those of you who really like these backwoods films, don't fret, there is one crazed old boy and his just as crazy momma. Apparently momma has linked up with the nutty military guys and they are searching for girlfriends for bubba. This doesn't bode well for Haylie.
It's not looking good for Haylie
I won't spoil the ending, but I will say the tech geeks give them quite a battle, and paintball guns can make for an effective weapon.
I love the climactic scene when it appears that our heroes are doomed. Troy Winbush, not phased at all by these losers, screams at them, "We don't give a damn about you backwoods ass people! You can't buy the pain I'll bring down on your crack ass." And he does.
Troy Winbush fights back
Overall, this film is pretty typical of the genre. You've seen most of it before, but I did like the military twist, even if it wasn't explored as well as it could have been.
Overall, probably not a film worth hunting down. Though it had potential exploring the military angle, it quickly veered back into common territory. That's too bad, eventually someone will get creative with one of these films. Too bad it hasn't happened yet.
As for the Haylie Duff fans out there, she gives a pretty good performance, and don't worry that she only makes it halfway through the film, you're going to see her all the way until the credits.
After The Descent, we should probably pursue a higher standard in horror film, but where's the fun in that?
Instead we go back to a John Carpenter film that certainly can't be called great, but instead is listed in the category of Cult Classic.
Look at all these cool things this film gives us!
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper is the star of the film.
The only way you can see the aliens is by wearing sunglasses
Neato wrestling fight scenes
Weirdo cult dudes selling their souls to the aliens for profit (hell, that sounds like modern politics)
Roddy Piper showing us how he got the part
With all that great stuff how can this not be an awesome film?
Well, it's not awesome, but it is fun.
The gimmick with the sunglasses actually works. Apparently aliens are taking over the earth. They are doing this by infiltrating our governments, our armies, and our Newspaper Stands. The problem is they look and act just like us, so no one can tell they are taking over. A group of rebels (this is never explained) discover with a pair of X-Ray Specs that they can actually see the "real" aliens. They are building a resistance force when Roddy stumbles upon them. He finds a pair of the trick glasses and spends a fun afternoon roaming the City seeing all the subliminal messages the aliens have left us to make us bow to their will.
The film's gimmick. It's simple, but it works.
Roddy also gets a good look at the creepy aliens themselves. One of my favorite scenes is early on when Roddy encounters an alien woman in a store. His insults to this alien woman are sidesplitting because we know what he sees, but the onlookers in the store just see an old woman being harassed by some guy.
You called me a what?
They look kind of like the apes from that horrible Planet of the Apes remake
This is John Carpenter, post Halloween, which means the film is hit or miss. It drags at points and is humorous in others. It's never frightening but that's not the point. It does attempt to hammer home the warnings of subliminal messaging, whether or not that works is debatable. Does anyone even worry about this anymore? I guess not, how else would you explain Bratz?
Add this one to your Netflix list. Check your brain and have fun.
Where the heck is Roddy Piper now?
'til Hulk Hogan makes a film. (Wait a minute he did??)
I've been out of the loop lately, real life works that way, but I really wanted to delve back into the thread I started a year ago on horror films. A tip of the hat to Gnumoon who last year got me thinking about my favorite (and not so favorite) bits of spooky cinema.
The first one I'm going to look at this year is a good one, and that's not terribly common for modern horror.
The Descent succeeds on a couple of levels. First of all it's a great film about a group of women trapped in an unexplored cave system. That's scary enough. If you're the least bit claustrophobic, the thought of being buried underground, beneath tons of rock, is going to give you the creeps.
But the filmmakers didn't leave it at that. They added another twist. Not only are they trapped with apparently no way out, but there is something down there with them, and it's hungry, real hungry.
They're happy now. That's going to change.
The Descent is a story of six women who decide to descend into a cave system to help a friend who is recovering from the loss of her husband and daughter. Part of the group are regulars to the adventure scene, they go out each year to try something new to get their thrills. This year they've expanded the group and they've also increased the challenge. You see, the group leader decides instead of going into a known cave system, they should explore a new system, with the potential of discovering the route and naming the cave after themselves.
The problem is, she didn't bother to tell anyone else and they were prepared for the known system, they are in no way prepared for an unmapped route.
Looks pretty innocent from here
Things deteriorate fast as they squeeze through tight spaces, survive a cave-in blocking the way back, and cross a bottomless chasm where they lose what little survival equipment they had.
Then come the monsters.
No spoilers here, you're going to have to watch the film to see what happens next.
It's not a perfect film. Lead character, Juno, gets a little too Lara Croft for my taste and sometimes the film is too dark. I know it's in a pitch black cave, but it's more frightening if I can see what's going on.
Damn monsters, you are so going to die.
The ending worked for me, but in the extras they also include the extended, original, ending. That one is a bit more surreal and a lot less satisfying, apparently it was changed after the test screening. I'll let you decide which is the better one.
Lastly, don't skip the extras. The sets of the film are perfect, and it's fun to see just how they created them and in reality how small they are. I guess in a dark enclosed film, the sets don't have to be huge.
This gets my highest recommendation for horror.
Grab it from Netflix today and give yourself the creeps.
I haven't written about a monster movie yet, an oversight we are going to fix.
The Relic is a monster movie set in a museum. Somehow that gave me visions of Harrison Ford or Nicholas Cage battling a beastie amongst the exhibits. No such luck. There aren't any classic adventurers in this one. Instead we get a pretty gutsy research scientist, who gets the task of tackling the big green nasty guy.
I must admit, I entirely missed this movie during it's theatrical release. It came out in 1997 and had a decent box office run (33 million). What attracted me to this film was all of the positive reviews on Netflix.
That's a real bad way to go
The Relic takes place almost entirely in a natural history museum. This might not sound like a great place to film a monster flick, until you realize this is an ultra modern museum with very tight security. In other words, when the big bad guy gets loose, the big steel doors drop, trapping everyone inside. Now you have a group of screaming people in a dim and creepy museum with no way out, except for a long walk through an abandoned (and very dark) tunnel to the outside.
Most of the cast is monster fodder, with the exception of our heroes, the aforementioned (female) scientist and a detective who comes to the museum investigating a murder and finds himself going toe to toe with a really big, smart, and fast nightmare on four legs.
No, this isn't Jurassic Park
Character development in this film is well done. You get to know both the detective and scientist pretty well.
She is working to earn a grant, in hopes that she can continue her research. The appearance of the monster coincides with a big gala party at the museum where she hopes to impress the benefactors and receive the money she needs for her studies. Her rival for the grant, also comes to the big bash and finds himself trapped in the museum. He's not a very nice guy. I'll let you figure out what happens to him.
"Man, I must have had too much too drink. I look awful."
As the victims fall by the wayside, the remaining party goers are split into two groups. The mayor and his wife, with a pair of cops hoping to navigate the tunnel to the outside. And our two heroes, scientist and detective, hoping to stop the creature.
Scenes shift between the tunnel and the museum as one group battles the giant beast and the other runs like hell.
At one point a SWAT team attempts to enter the museum through a skylight. This is one of the most tense scenes in the film, as the cops swing like bait on their rappel gear above a very hungry beast that jumps really well.
If I was ranking monster movies, I'd place this one a couple of notches below Alien, but a few notches above most everything else.
It has a good setup, true character development and a great chase scene at the end. Sure the final battle is a bit of a stretch, but I'm a sucker for tough women standing their ground against big beasties.
'til Indiana Jones trades Nazis for big green monsters
After suffering through Prom Night, I definitely needed a better movie
I found it in another zombie film.
No. It isn't a Sandra Bullock sequel.
28 Days Later is a different twist on the zombie genre.
Instead of slow plodding, dull-witted, dead humans; the zombies in 28 Days Later are fast, mean and apparently smart.
He's infected (or he needs Visine)
But here's where it really gets interesting. Once a person is infected, they become an enraged zombie in twenty seconds. This little plot point has you counting in your head every time one of the normal humans gets splashed with blood.
This also means that when one of the good guys gets infected, he isn't long for this world, as his friends are forced to immediately eliminate him before he turns on them. Since the characters in this film actually get a chance to develop, this becomes even more gut wrenching when one of the good guys has to go down.
Like Resident Evil, the zombies are a result of a killer virus. Unlike Resident Evil the setup isn't very well done. It basically consists of some animal rights activists releasing infected chimps from a laboratory. In the next scene everyone in England has dissapeared, except for our hero.
Hey! Manchester is burning. Why don't we go there?
After wandering aimlessly through an eerily empty London, he meets up with two groups of survivors and they band together to escape the madness of the City. They hear a recorded radio broadcast from a group of soldiers that promises escape from the virus. Packing a cab with goods lifted from the local grocery, they head towards Manchester to find this post apocalypse Garden of Eden.
Surprisingly once they find the soldiers, the movie gets very interesting and you realize the zombies aren't the bad guys.
For the most part 28 Days Later is filled with good performances, just the right amount of tension and a great setting. The opening scenes of an empty, desolate London are great cinema even for a mainstream film.
The ending is too neat and pretty, even for me, but there are alternate endings in the extras in case you like your horror movies to conclude a touch darker.
If you like zombie horror I recommend you Netflix this one.
In the 80's, Jamie Lee Curtis was known as "The Scream Queen". Roles in Halloween and Halloween II were followed with Terror Train and Prom Night.
While Halloween is arguably one of the best horror films ever made, the same can't be said for those that followed.
Terror Train at least has the unique theme of a train. Prom Night is nothing more than one horror cliche after another.
1) Oversexed teens, drink and do drugs.
2) Same teens have a guilt complex because they were involved in the death of someone a long time ago.
3) Mysterious killer from the past returns.
4) Teens began dying one by one in gruesome fashion.
5) Teen attempts to escape in car that won't start, gets stuck and then he can't seem to drive.
6) Shock surprise ending reveals the killer!
Prom Night covers all of the "Horror Rules" but it uses them in such an awkward fashion, that the film is nearly unwatchable. Not only is the film bad, it's boring. It's never even unintentionally funny.
The filmmakers try very hard to give you clues about the killer. As a matter of fact they force these "false clues" at you so much, you are convinced that there is no way that any of those people are behind the ski mask. (Hint: it's not the escaped psycho, the stoner, the weird maintenance man or the dumped girlfriend)
To make this film even worse, the DVD transfer is so bad that the climactic scenes where the killer stalks the students at the prom are so dark, you are never sure whether he kills them or not.
The writing is probably worse than the camera work. The entire film takes place in the course of one day. These kids meet, make a date for the prom and show up at the prom that same night. I went to the prom during this time period. It took your date at least two weeks to buy the dress. If you asked her the day of the prom for a date, your butt would be sitting home alone, watching MTV, not going to a dance.
I'll never live this film down, unless I can find a brilliant movie producer to marry.
Need more stupidity? How about the kids walking up and down the halls of the school smoking? Yeah right. Hiding in the boys room, maybe. But in the hallway? In the open? No way.
Watching this film, I kept waiting to have some sympathy for the characters. Surely when I saw this film 20+ years ago I must have felt something as they were sliced and diced into the afterworld?
Then there's the music. I didn't like disco when I was in high school, but the generic schlock that runs through this film almost makes rap sound good (okay, maybe not).
The only reason to watch this film is because you are looking for an 80's nostalgia rush. If that's the case, rent Valley Girl or if you want horror try April Fools Day.
If you want to experience the 80's Scream Queen in all her glory, rent Halloween. You can't lose with Jamie Lee and PJ Soles in that one.
'til Christopher Guest buys and burns all the prints of this film
I'm not sure how to classify Mary Reilly. Gothic Horror? Romantic Horror?
Regardless of the classification, it definitely is a different breed of horror film. Told from the point of view of Dr. Jekyll's housekeeper, Mary Reilly, the film concentrates much more on relationships than you will ever see in most horror films. Whether or not this is a good thing, depends on how you like your horror.
Mary Reilly was not a box office success. Costing close to fifty million to produce, it brought in less than ten million during it's domestic box office run. It didn't help that most Julia Roberts fans had no desire to see her in a decidedly non-glamorous role.
Julia Roberts thinking about romance, but not much about comedy
The other strike against the movie, and a big turn off for many, is that it moves very slowly. We spend a lot of time seeing Mary performing basic household chores and her interactions with Jekyll are for the most part uneventful.
When Mr. Hyde finally appears things pick up, but because most of Hyde's mischief is off stage, fans of slasher type horror will be completely bored.
So what's to like? It's easy to see where they spent the money, when you see the sets. From Jekyll's laboratory to the dark and filthy streets, the scenery does a lot to set the mood.
In one of the most graphic scenes in the film, Mary and Mr. Hyde go downtown where they visit both the slaughterhouse and the hospital. It is no coincidence that the two are side by side.
Mary Reilly meet Mr. Hyde
That's were most of the horror in this movie comes in. The sheer depressing fact of how these people lived. The completely dreary lives they must have led.
Early in the movie, Mary plants a garden in the back of the doctors house. The small touch of color is completely overwhelmed by the overbearing dark and gloomy setting of the film.
My biggest complaint with the film isn't Julia's Irish accent, it's the ending. I don't always expect things to be tied up all nice and pretty, but I prefer you at least point me down the path. At the end of Mary Reilly I have no idea what happens to this character. In a movie that is almost all character, that is it's fatal flaw.
'til Dr. Jekyll potion is approved for over the counter sales
I originally intended to spend the month writing about my favorite horror films. Then while browsing through Creature Features (the book), I realized there were a lot of interesting movies I hadn't seen. Maybe I should write about some of those.
I also remembered a recommendation from Gnumoon for Resident Evil.
So I decided it would be more fun to write about all the horror films I watch during October, both good and bad.
Resident Evil is based on the video game of the same name. This is not a recommendation in itself as most video game films are terrible.
Killer Virus + Broken Vial = You are going to Die
Resident Evil manages to escape the terrible curse and ends up being quite an entertaining film. It starts with a bang as the virus is released causing the secret underground lab to seal shut, trapping (and executing) all the workers within.
The elevator scene is particularly intense, especially if you don't like elevators.
From there we switch to our heroes who enter the secret lab to deactivate the now out of control computer system. It turns out the computer is the least of their worries. It seems the virus has turned the previously dead employees into hungry zombies and the lab animals into killer mutants.
Kung Fu Women versus The Killer Mutant Dogs
What began as a simple mission, turns into a fight for survival against dozens of lumbering, munching zombies. As in most (all?) zombie movies, you basically need to blow off their heads to kill them. That's not too hard if you have plenty of ammo.
You gotta floss to prevent those bleeding gums.
Unfortunately our heroes are not only short on bullets, they quickly become short on heroes thanks to a nasty defensive device from the aforementioned computer. With their ranks "cut down" they have to reactivate the computer and high tail it out the back door before the fail-safe program kicks in and locks them in forever (or until the sequel).
Duck! Wait, I mean Jump! Never mind, just die.
For the last thirty minutes or so they race across pits of frenzied zombies, fight a giant-demon-spawn long-tongued-mutant and deal with a traitor on their team.
All in all it's a rocket ride of an action flick.
To quote Gnumoon, "the gore:zombie:horror ratios are just right."
I'm even tempted to Netflix the sequel, despite Gnumoon's ominous warning, "Do not accidentally rent RE2: Apocalypse. I’d rather have my brains munched on than watch it again."
'til Milla Jovovich gets that red dress dry cleaned
13 Ghosts is the first scary movie I that I can remember. I saw it at Chip Tsangarides house when I was 10 years old. It has remained on my favorite horror movie list all this time, because I remembered it so well.
Until yesterday, I hadn't seen the movie since my childhood.
Are the ghosts going to kill us? Yes. Are we going to take the hint and leave? No.
I had very vivid memories of the young boy encountering the ghosts and especially the "spiked" bed used to trap the ghost's victims.
After watching the movie again, I realize that memories from our childhood can't really be trusted.
That very scary movie that I have remembered all these years, really isn't frightening at all. In fact it's pretty dumb.
The family moves into a haunted house because dad can't remember to pay the bills in their old house. When they inherit the spooky mansion, dad sees this as a way to escape his irresponsibility. The first night the family discovers a Ouija board hidden in a secret panel. They first ask if there are ghosts in the house and receive an affirmative reply. The young boy then asks if the ghosts will kill any of them. The planchette then floats up in the air and points to his sister.
Despite this ominous warning, the family stays in the house. Each night the encounters with the ghosts get worse until they decide to host a seance. The ghost from the seance tells them that one of them will die that night.
What does dad do? He sends the kids off to bed, alone, while he and mom retire to their own room.
My butt would have been out of that house.
The climactic scene features the terrifying "spiked" bed I remember from my youth. I didn't remember it very well, because the bed only squeezes it victims. Apparently the movie budget didn't include spikes.
From the mind of William Castle, 13 Ghosts is one of his many "gimmick" films. In this movie you use the magic of "Illusion-O" to view the ghosts when they appear on the screen. The actual gimmick is nothing more than red/blue 3D glasses and you don't need them to see the ghosts, but William Castle played up Illusion-O for all it was worth.
The film tells you when to put on your Illusion-O glasses.
The boy in the film encounters the headless lion tamer.
In his other films William Castle had theater owners install electric buzzers or fly skeletons over the crowd at critical points. His gimmicks became so complicated, that theater owners eventually refused to book his films.
Interestingly enough, if you attend a 3D movie at Disney World or Universal Studios, you will experience the same type of effects William Castle pioneered forty years previously. I think he would have gotten a kick out of the sprays of water, bursts of wind, bouncing seats and swishing tails employed in the theaters of modern theme parks.
13 Ghosts isn't a great film or even a very good one, but it is a piece of horror history from one of the masters of theater marketing and manipulation.
(There is a recent remake of this film. I haven't seen it.)
I wouldn't want to be anywhere near either of those places when the sun goes down.
I've been in Bingham Graveyard after dark. During my first visit to the Birkhead Wilderness Area I was with my nephews Shane and David. We got a late start on the hike and after about an hour we had failed to find any of the campsites from the trail guide. It was dark, raining and we were lost. In the movies, we'd have been slasher bait.
Eventually we stumbled into this area. A surprisingly welcome setting,
since it was located, oddly enough, very near an
established camp site.
Bingham Graveyard - Birkhead Wilderness - Uwharrie National Forest
'til horror movies are the scariest part of this world we live in
In creating this list I've tried to avoid obvious choices. In other words, despite the fact that I love the original Halloween, that seems far to easy a pick.
I doubt anyone would say that about April Fools Day.
Loosely based on Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, this movie is very different from most of the 80's slasher films. In other words, there's no mindless killer (Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers) wandering aimlessly and slaughtering the hapless students one by one. There's a little more of a mystery involved. That's not to say this is classic filmaking, there are certainly flaws, but the premise is unique enough that it definitely belongs on this list.
April Fools Day is about a group of college kids spending the weekend at a private island owned by their friend Muffy.
On the ferry ride over, there is a horrible accident and one of the ferry workers is nearly killed. The college kids are racked with guilt because it was their actions (and irresponsibility) that caused the accident.
When they arrive, Muffy (played by Deborah Foreman Valley Girl) is at first pleasant in a preppy sort of way. That night everything is fun and lively and the ferry accident forgotten. Muffy plays a number of innocent April Fools Day jokes, including whoopee cushions, collapsing chairs, exploding cigars and dribble glasses.
Then everyone heads to their respective rooms for the night, where many of them find disturbing items left behind by someone. Newspaper articles talking of murder, a crying baby on a tape recorder and bondage paraphernalia seems to hint that maybe Muffy knows a deep and dark secret about each of her guests.
The mystery deepens the next morning as the once bright and cheery Muffy is now moody, nervous and disheveled.
Not only has Muffy changed, but one of the college students has disappeared. A frantic search for the missing student leads to more students disappearing, dismembered bodies in an old well and an ominous discovery in the attic. The last third of the movie is a frantic chase as the surviving kids attempt to evade the killer while waiting for the constable to arrive by boat.
Is Muffy the killer?
Did the ferry driver come back to get revenge?
Will the constable arrive in time?
With two shock endings, April Fools Day answers these questions and ties up the mystery quite nicely. Like I said, this one is different than your ordinary slasher film. If you're looking for something different for your Halloween horror list, this is a good movie to start with.
Friday the 13th redefined the horror genre. Sure, the genre was kick started with John Carpenter's Halloween, but it took Sean Cunningham to take it to the next level. I'll leave it to you to debate whether this was a good thing.
To date Friday has spawned ten sequels and a cult icon, maybe the most famous star in horror, Jason Voorhees.
After eight films the franchise was sold to New Line Cinema. Or part of the franchise anyway. New Line bought the Jason name, leaving everything else behind. This partnership spawned one underwhelming film, Jason Goes to Hell. Neither a box office or critical success, the franchise probably could have ended right there.
Then somebody had the idea to team up two horror icons. What if we took Freddy Krueger and Jason and put them in the same film?
Interesting, but that's not what this post is about. You see as the years dragged on and Freddy Vs. Jason took the long route to the big screen, Sean Cunningham got restless. He decided he needed to get Jason back on the screen and Jason X was born.
Jason X is certainly the most unique of the Friday films. It as much a science fiction film as it is a horror film and though no one is ever going to put it in the same class as Alien, it is a rather interesting twist on the genre.
Is this a great movie? No.
Let's face it, if you watch these movies because you are looking for great cinema, you have gotten off at the wrong stop. I might suggest you get back on the bus and go rent something else.
Is this a bizarre romp through the horrific world of Camp Crystal Lake in space? Yes!
After summer camp, New York and a trip to hell what can you do? You go to space, of course. I'm amazed that the folks behind this were able to head to the nearest galaxy at all. Space movies demand a lot more budget than the Friday films have ever had, but amazingly these guys managed to wring a lot out of the meager 10 million they were given to make this movie. This leads me to suspect these sets were leftover from another film (or TV series) and the Jason X producers, in classic Irwin Allen style, borrowed them.
Why do I like this film?
In most of these movies the teenagers have no chance. The mindless killer moves from one scene to another, hacking them to pieces. Not in Jason X. These kids have Space Marines on board. Space Marines with BFG's. They even call their guns BFG's! How cheesy videogame movie can you get!
They also have a kick-butt android who is souped up, smart and strong. In other words, old Jason has a challenge on his hands.
Well, not really.
The reality is the Space Marines are no more than machete fodder and the android gives Jason a good run early on, but even she can't stand up to what Jason becomes later in the film when he is exposed to the ultra-modern healing technology on the space station. Yep. Jason on steroids, with big and mean robotic parts (I love killer robots).
As for the cast, Lexa Doig puts on the best performance. You may have seen her in Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda or Earth: Final Conflict. She's building up quite a few credits in the Sci Fi world, so I would say she definitely doesn't fall into the category of making a Friday movie and then dissapearing.
I got a kick out of Lisa Ryder as Kay Em also. Androids are tough to play and she does a nice job. They probably should have added her to the Enterprise cast, heaven knows that show needed something. Kane Hodder continues in the role of Jason and he is perfect in the role of the hulking brute. I guess if the Oscars ever add "hulking brute" as a category, he's got it made.
Then there's the female factor. I suspect this is probably the number two reason people see these movies (the males anyway). Kristi Angus is cute, but screen time is minimal, see next paragraph regarding the liquid nitro. Melyssa Ade lasts a lot longer and is a better actress, so keep your eye out for her. I love the look and hairstyle of one of the VR girls (Kaye Penaflor or Tania Maro). Sorry, I have no idea which girl is which? But it is just so late 70's early 80's. Perfect. My wife had that exact hair style in high school!
The best scene in the film? You HAVE to see Jason enter the Virtual Reality world of Camp Crystal Lake. This scene is just over 2 minutes, but it's "horror film" perfect.
As for the unique ways in which Jason's victims are dispatched (the number one reason people see these films), the
liquid nitro one right at the beginning of the movie is pretty darn
unique. After that, there's a lot of standard stuff, though the giant
"drill bit " scene qualifies as the worst line in the movie. Imagine this - Space Marine falls on a giant inverted corkscrew, it penetrates his chest and he slowly spirals to his death. Later he is discovered by another Space Marine. Her comment? "He's screwed."
See what I mean? It's so bad, it's good!
Jason X didn't do big numbers at the box office, it basically recovered costs, but the much delayed Freddy Vs. Jason did eventually make it to the screen and that film came close to the 100 million mark. It's not nearly as entertaining as this film.
Will we see more of the maniac in a hockey mask? You bet we will.
So begins my list of horror film favorites. Yes, you have to check your brain at the door for this one. But taken in the approriate spirit, this film is an entertaining romp through slasher movie cliches and low budget science fiction.