Terror Tuesday Report: It’s Alive


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The Film

Do you know what It’s Alive has in spades?

Pathos. Humanity, man. Tons of it. This movie contains some of the most heart-breakingly realistic depictions of grief I’ve ever seen, honest, understated work from a cast of terrific character actors. Who cares if this is movie about a mutant baby running amuck and tearing the jugulars out of any unsuspecting sap who gets in his way. This is the ultimate Killer Mutant Baby movie. This Killer Mutant Baby movie is more honest with its characters and more truthful with its emotions than most prestige dramas.

Terror Tuesday Report: Bloody Birthday


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It’s very fitting that on the week our very own John Gholson had his personal creep-out zone invaded by The Baby, Terror Tuesday would showcase one of mine: young children. What’s weird about that is that I like babies, and I actually don’t mind most children in general, but when kids have a cold and soulless personality, that’s a different matter entirely. An energetic and rambunctious kid is easy to read, but the quiet ones could be plotting your demise right in front of your very eyes. For future reference, I am especially not fond of any little girl with long, straight black hair.

Bloody Birthday begins during an eclipse, when three children in the same community are born at the same time. We’re then fast-forwarded to a few days before their 9th birthday where the children, Debbie, Curtis and Steven, who seem innocent enough, are actually quite the effective killing unit. They embark on a killing spree instilling fear in their town, while a classmate of theirs begins to suspect something so naturally, he must go, but getting rid of him proves to be difficult.

Terror Tuesday Report: The Baby (1973)


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The Film

Everyone has their personal creep-out zone.  For many, the mere sight of a friendly clown sends a cold shock straight down the spine.  For others, lifelike porcelain dolls might be just the trigger they need to draw their heart up firmly into their throat.  For me, there’s nothing more demonic, nothing more unspeakably unsettling than an adult baby.

I’m an open-minded dude, but there’s something profoundly wrong with a fully-formed adult who can’t function in life without pretending to be a giant baby in their spare time.  I can’t even begin to fathom the psychological damage at work to make a grown-up want to drink warm Simulac from a bottle and poop their pants again (and again).  Oftentimes when dealing with fetishes, the fixation comes from something that brings someone a great deal of comfort, and I can understand that concept, but can anyone actually remember being a baby?  Oftentimes, adult babies are like infantile drag queens — not content to just be pampered by a mommy figure, but acting out as some kind of Super Baby, seemingly determined to out-baby a real baby, complete with giant adult-sized bonnets and lots of “ga ga goo goo” talk.  They’re not like babies in a maternity ward; they’re like babies in a Warner Brothers cartoon.  Only, they’re adults.  Weird.

Terror Tuesday Report: The Stepfather (1987)


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The Film

The Stepfather opens with a calm but blood-covered man ritualistically removing his beard and showering. He swaps his glasses for contacts, packs a few belongings, and leaves his home walking without acknowledging the horror of what he has left behind laying on the floor and covering the walls and furniture. After stopping briefly and nonchalantly to pick up the morning paper from his lawn, he walks off to a new life.

Six months later, Jerry Blake (Terry O’Quinn) is living in a new home with his girlfriend, Susan (Shelley Hack), and Susan’s daughter Stephanie. While Susan is unable to see past Jerry’s meticulously crafted facade, Stephanie is (as stepchildren usually are) suspicious of Jerry. It is her watchful eye and snooping that start to pry at tiny cracks in Jerry’s psyche. When he realizes his struggle to maintain a wholesome family are in vain (again), he begins preparations to move on to a yet another fresh start which includes getting rid of the one he is going to leave behind.

Terror Tuesday Report: The Thrill Killers


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The Film

There’s a charming, bumbling incompetence on display in The Thrill Killers. It’s the same high energy, passionate camp that flows through the veins of so much 1950s ans 1960s genre cinema: movies that lack polish, structure and relatable characters but more than make up for those deficiencies with a delightful “Let’s Put On A Show!” flavor. Movies like this get made only because the people making them really, really wanted to make a movie. It’s what allows us to laugh with Ed Wood films instead of at them: there’s a soul beneath the cardboard sets and wooden acting.

That same soul exists in The Thrill Killers — that soul just happens to be pitch black and oozing hateful, nihilistic puss, ready to stab a nun to death after burning down an orphanage. Come to giggle at the shoddy craftsmanship, stay for the sequences of soul-crushing evil.

Terror Tuesday Report – Near Dark


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The Film

For horror aficionados, vampire movies have a long history of being hit or miss. For every Dracula or Thirst, there are a dozen cheap knockoffs. And let’s not even get started on that Twilight nonsense. Back in 1987 a vampire movie appeared on the screen and instantly became a classic with movie fans, grossing $32 million dollars and spawning two sequels. That movie is The Lost Boys. The biggest shame about that film, while it’s certainly entertaining and retains a special place in my heart, is that it overshadowed a much better movie, released months later and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who would later go on to direct the Oscar winning The Hurt Locker. If you count yourself a horror fan you owe it to yourself to track down and watch Near Dark, Bigelow’s third film and one that we had the pleasure of seeing in glorious 35mm at Terror Tuesday.

Terror Tuesday Report: Human Experiments


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The Film

Human Experiments is immediately noteworthy for two reasons. First, it stars Linda Haynes of Rolling Thunder fame in one of her last roles before she seemingly vanished off the face of the Earth. Secondly, the second lead is played by Geoffery Lewis, whose name you’ll never remember but whose good-natured face will be immediately recognizable to anyone who saw a movie in the 1970s.

The casting of an extremely talented leading lady and one of the most underrated character actors of all time (”He always used to play Clint Eastwood’s best friend, billed after the ape” Terror Tuesday programmer and host Zack Carlson said) lend Human Experiments just enough class to compensate for its various shortcomings — i.e., it’s total lack of budget. Haynes stars as a traveling musician who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, gets convicted for a series of murders she didn’t commit and finds herself in prison. Lewis is the sociopathic prison psychiatrist who psychologically torments his patients as part of theoretical (ahem, sick and twisted) recovery program.

Terror Tuesday Report: Tourist Trap


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The Film

There aren’t a lot of Terror Tuesday shows that will make me want to take to the Internet to look up more about a particular subject. It was a pleasant surprise this week to have my interest piqued in a subject that I ultimately learned was called pediophobia. Pediophobia is defined as a fear of dolls, or more specifically a fear of “false representation of sentient beings” like mannequins. As a child, if you weren’t afraid of mannequins or dolls and happened to come across Tourist Trap, then pediophobia might have become a newly acquired childhood fear.

As a group of five friends are traveling through the desert, Eileen and her boyfriend Woody’s car gets a flat tire and he goes off to look for help. He happens upon an old looking gas station and when he goes inside to look for help, he happens across what he thinks is a sleeping women. Turns out he’s fallen into a trap, and a group of mannequins begin laughing maniacally at him and various objects begin flying at him before a steel rod impales and kills him. Eileen and Woody’s friends find their car and when they go off to search for him they encounter an old tourist trap museum run by a strangely nice old man named Mr. Slausen (Chuck Connors). While the others search the property, a mysterious masked figure begins killing or trapping members of the group.




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