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.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hellroller (1992)

Directed by:
Gary J. Levinson
Stuart Wall (uncredited)

Some guy who played a few bit roles in a couple of Fred Olen Ray movies like The Phantom Empire and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers decided to make a campy B horror movie all on his own. He really shouldn't have bothered. This inept shot-on-video mess is pretty much a complete embarrassment and a definite contendor for the coveted title of Worst Movie Ever Made. You may also notice a handful of 10-star reviews on IMDb - clearly all written by the same person - trying to pawn this off as some cult film, but don't be fooled. This is as bad as it gets and too calculated in its attempt to be a cult movie that is doesn't even cut it as a good bad movie. Wheelchair-bound, constantly-twitching whiner Eugene (the incredibly annoying Ron Litman) and the woman he always thought was his mother (Mary Woronov, under the alias "Penny Arcade") go dumpster diving. She says "I should have aborted you!" but then confesses that she's not really his mother but his aunt and that his REAL mom (Ruth Collins) accidentally dropped him on his head when he an infant right before being gang raped and murdered by a set of Siamese twins. After the aunt disappears, Eugene goes to the rotten-toothed "King of the Bums" (David H. Sterry) for help, only to find out she's been raped and murdered, too. Already imbalanced and filled with rage to begin with, Eugene then sets out on a quest to "kick ass all over Hollywood" (i.e. go on a senseless killing spree).






Our paralyzed psycho briefly teams up with a mentally-retarded former film director named Donald (played by director Levinson) who was once "the Fellini of horror pictures in Tennessee." I've seen enough cheap horror films by now to realize the retarded director character is a dig at Z filmmaker Donald Farmer of CANNIBAL HOOKERS (1987) fame. Just one month before this video was released, Farmer released a documentary called Invasion of the Scream Queens (1992). Since it featured a photo of Michelle Bauer on the cover taken from this movie, Levinson and co-director Stuart Wall later took "Invasion" producer Sy Yudel on the TV show The People's Court (!!) and (unsuccessfully) sued him for "using property without permission!" Check out the whole amusing and embarrassing segment right here...


So anyway, Eugene and Donald go to a gym and get revenge on a guy for calling Eugene a "crip" and throwing his wheelchair in a dumpster. Eugene then gets a pocket knife from a woman and stabs her in the face with it. They then bust into the hotel room of world famous "model slut" Michelle Novak (Bauer), who's in town to promote her new line of swimsuits. During a scuffle, Eugene convinces Michelle to help him kill Donald and then turns around and guts her in the bathroom.






The lame murder spree continues as Eugene takes an axe to porno actress Hyapatia Lee after she dances, strips and showers, rams a broomstick through a pair of female muggers, kills a topless hooker by ironing her to death and rips out a guy's eyeballs. Sound gory? Sure, but I haven't yet mentioned that most of the victims aren't actually shown being killed, we just get to see the body afterward, including a hilarious moment where a dead woman holds an axe up to her chest to keep it in place. The staging and editing of these scenes is uncommonly bad. During the last few minutes, the killer goes to a mad doctor (Sterry again) and has him whip up a special potion to turn normal people into bums but this idea goes nowhere. There are a few other useless subplots in here as well, mostly revolving around a couple of TV newscasters making dumb jokes about Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy and interviewing people saying degrading things about homeless people.






Aside from Bauer (seen doing aerobics in lingerie for several minutes before hopping in the bathtub) and Lee's nude scenes, the only other good thing about this movie is the surprisingly good music. Seeing how no one is credited with doing the score, they probably just stole it from somewhere else. As far as the photography is concerned, it's often so blurry and poorly lit you'd have to have no understanding of how to work a simple camera for it to end up looking this bad. I set up better-looking shots with a 200 dollar camcorder and a lamp when I was 8 years old. For what it's worth, a few other minor B movie celebs pop up in small roles, including Elizabeth Kaitan and Tammara Souza (stars of Assault of the Killer Bimbos), Johnny Legend and Eric Caidin.






This was first issued on VHS on the Dark Side Home Video label and appears to be their one and only release. The box claims the special effects are by the "creator" of Evil Dead II and Luther the Geek, which in huckster speak translates to "some guy who claims to have worked on both films conveniently sans credit." At some point, co-director Wall sold his rights to the film back to Levinson and he altered the credits to take sole ownership, which was probably a smart move on Wall's part. The aptly named VHShitfest later acquired the distribution rights and released this (a better print than what had previously been available) on both DVD and VHS.

NO STARS!

The 2015 Orloks - 1980 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1980
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. The Shining
UKUSA / 60 points / Stanley Kubrick
* * * * * * * * * *
2. Cannibal Holocaust
Italy / 58 points / Ruggero Deodato
* * * * * * * * * *
3. The Changeling
Canada / 32 points / Peter Medak
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Inferno
Italy / 30 points / Dario Argento
* * * * * * * * * *
5. Maniac
USA / 27 points / William Lustig

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. Paura nella città dei morti viventi (City of the Living Dead) / Italy / 25 points / Lucio Fulci
7. Christmas Evil (You Better Watch Out) / USA / 20 points / Lewis Jackson
8. Friday the 13th / USA / 17 points / Sean S. Cunningham
9. Fog, The / USA / 16 points / John Carpenter
10. (tie) Altered States / USA / 15 points / Ken Russell
10. (tie) La nuit des traquées (The Night of the Hunted) / France / 15 points / Jean Rollin

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Alligator / USA / Lewis Teague
- Boogey Man, The / USA / Ulli Lommel
- Che dau che (Hex vs. Witchcraft) / Hong Kong / Chih-Hung Kuei
- Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha (Savage Hunt of King Stakh) / Soviet Union / Valeri Rubinchik
- Don't Answer the Phone! / USA / Robert Hammer
- Dressed to Kill / USA / Brian De Palma
- Fade to Black / USA / Vernon Zimmerman
- Fukkatsu no hi (Day of Resurrection; Virus) / Japan / Kinji Fukasaku
- Godsend, The / UK / Gabrielle Beaumont
- Golem / Poland / Piotr Szulkin
- Gui da gui (Encounters of the Spooky Kind) / Hong Kong / Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
- Humanoids from the Deep / USA / Barbara Peeters
- Incubo sulla città contaminata (Nightmare City) / Italy, Mexico, Spain / Umberto Lenzi
- La casa sperduta nel parco (House on the Edge of the Park) / Italy / Ruggero Deodato
- La nuit de la mort! (Night of Death!) / France / Raphaël Delpard
- Macabre (Frozen Terror; Macabro) / Italy / Lamberto Bava
- Motel Hell / USA / Kevin Connor
- Ninth Configuration, The / USA / William Peter Blatty
- Sekkusu hantâ - sei kariudo (Sex Hunter) / Japan / Toshiharu Ikeda
- Silent Scream, The / UK [TV] / Alan Gibson
- Zûmu in: Bôkô danchi (Zoom In: Rape Apartments) / Japan / Naosuke Kurosawa

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

<  Back to 1979                          Continue to 1981 >

The 2015 Orloks - 1969 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1969
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Môjû (Blind Beast)
Japan / 30 points / Yasuzô Masumura
* * * * * * * * * *
2. The Honeymoon Killers
USA / 29 points / Leonard Kastle
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Spalovac mrtvol (The Cremator)
Czechoslovakia / 28 points / Juraj Herz
* * * * * * * * * *
4. La residencia (The House That Screamed)
Spain / 24 points / Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
* * * * * * * * * *
5. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
UK / 20 points / Terence Fisher

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû (Horrors of Malformed Men) / Japan / 19 points / Teruo Ishii
7. (tie) Femina ridens (The Frightened Woman) / Italy / 9 points / Piero Schivazappa
7. (tie) What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? / USA / 9 points / Lee H. Katzin
8. (tie) La horripilante bestia humana (Night of the Bloody Apes) / Mexico / 8 points / René Cardona
8. (tie) Oblong Box, The / UK / 8 points / Gordon Hessler
8. (tie) Schreie in der Nacht (The Unnaturals) / Italy, West Germany / 8 points / Antonio Margheriti
9. Valley of Gwangi, The / USA / 6 points / Jim O'Connolly
10. Night Gallery / USA [TV] / 5 points / Boris Sagal, Barry Shear, Steven Spielberg

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Bambi Meets Godzilla / Canada [animated short] / Marv Newland
- Blood of Dracula's Castle / USA / Al Adamson
- Daddy's Gone A-Hunting / USA / Mark Robson
- El libro de piedra (The Book of Stone) / Mexico / Carlos Enrique Taboada
- Fangs of the Living Dead (Malenka) / Italy, Spain / Amando de Ossorio
- Gamera tai daiakuju Giron (Attack of the Monsters; Gamera vs. Guiron) / Japan / Noriaki Yuasa
- Haunted House of Horror, The (Horror House) / UK / Michael Armstrong
- Invocation of My Demon Brother / USA [short] / Kenneth Anger
- "It's Alive!" / USA / Larry Buchanan
- La venganza del sexo (The Curious Dr. Humpp) / Argentina / Emilio Vieyra
- Salvare la faccia (Psychout for Murder) / Argentina, Italy / Rossano Brazzi
- Scream Baby Scream / USA / Joseph Adler
- Ultimate Degenerate, The / USA / Michael Findlay
- Una sull'altra (Perversion Story) / France, Italy, Spain / Lucio Fulci
- Witchmaker, The / USA / William O. Brown

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

<  Back to 1968                          Continue to 1970 >

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