Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Judgement Day (1989)

...aka: Nacht der Teufel
...aka: Third Hand, The

Directed by:
Ferde Grofe, Jr.

Two college buddies (David Anthony Smith and Kenneth McLeod) who must not have seen AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON decide to backpack their way through Mexico after their tour bus breaks down. They end up in a very small village that's filled with strange, superstitious inhabitants and an even stranger curse. To save themselves from the plague back in 1689, the villagers made a pact with the dark lord below, who in return for his favor was promised the chance to return to the same town three hundred years to banish souls to hell for all eternity. Now it's 1989 and when you do the math, you realize the two amigos have obviously picked the wrong day to end up in this town. Not that I'd want to hang around in a town called "Satana" for very long, anyway. Throw into the mix some demon-possessed townspeople, a dual crucifixion, some excellent and extremely atmospheric location work in an old, crumbling Mexican village and a personal appearance from Satan himself (in a pretty interesting make-up job), and you have JUDGEMENT DAY.
.
Unfortunately, even with the busy plot and all that great south-of-the-border atmosphere, this film drags a lot, is confusing, dreary, nearly gore-free and has highly variable acting and dialogue. There are some topless scenes and whippings, but the Magnum video (which is long out of circulation and difficult to find) is still rated PG-13. The cast includes a few familar faces - Cesar Romero, Monte Markham and Peter Mark Richman, plus Gloria Hayes.

Score: 4 out of 10

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