The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Don’t Go in the House’ (1980)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

VHS cover for Don't Go in the House

A creepy house is not an uncommon thing in our beloved genre. Countless films have centered around a horrible building of some sort. Look at the horrors that awaited people in films like Psycho, or the possession which took place in Poltergeist, even all the way back to the silent days and the terrors that awaited the couple knocking on the door to Orlock’s castle in Nosferatu. If there is one thing that all of the victims in these films should have done, it was stay the hell away from those houses! I guess Joseph Ellison decided to take that message to heart when he created his first film (of only two): Don’t Go in the House. You might think it’s your average slasher, but it’s quite a bit different than all that, and definitely much slower.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Don’t Panic’ (1988)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

VHS cover of Don't Panic

And we continue with “Don’t” month in July for Horror Movie Night. This week’s film is Mexican, full of white (or whiteish) people, some nods to earlier slashers like A Nightmare on Elm Street, and overflowing with the ridiculous. Basically a match made in heaven for HMN viewers. Mexican director Rubén Galindo, Jr., who previously made the living dead flick Zombie Apocalypse, is the visionary behind Don’t Panic. What his actual vision was still remains up for interpretation.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Don’t Go In the Woods’ (1981)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

Very cool VHS cover art

Get ready to head back to childhood where at every turn someone was telling you not to do something. That’s right, it’s “Don’t” month at Horror Movie Night! Each film this month, including the great Christmas in July selection, has a title that starts with the word “Don’t”. Hard not to think of that faux-trailer that Edgar Wright filmed for Grindhouse. It was made for a reason after all.

For our first film of the month, we’re going hiking. Director James Bryan made a quick, low-budget slasher in 1981 by the name of Don’t Go in the Woods. Many bodies are dispatched in fun and gory ways with little to no plot surrounding it, which is was we normally like, right? Sometimes. This, at times, made me smile…and many other times yawn. 

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Dead Dudes in the House’ (1991)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

Awesome New Kids on the Block-esque VHS Cover
This week our HMN feature had some build up based solely on the title. Once we began to watch, though, you could hear the sighs in surround sound. The second that opening Troma title card popped up it brought most watchers’ spirits down. Sometimes with this company, it’s a total crapshoot. They will release pretty much anything, and this goes for the stuff they film in-house as well. Still we remained hopeful and were treated to a fairly decent, but kind of boring, zombie tale with Dead Dudes in the House.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Bad Dreams’ (1988)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

VHS for Bad Dreams

Fresh off the heels of A Nightmare on Elm Street everyone was trying to cash-in on dream based horror. Wes Craven had created a new breath into the slasher genre, one that had a built in bit of terror using something people had feared for years: dreams. What was once thought to be all in your mind and something you were safe from now terrified a whole generation, either for the first time or all over again, and you weren’t guaranteed to wake. Easy to see why other filmmakers jumped all over the chance to explore this avenue, and by the time the third installment of Freddy’s exploits had hit theaters, writer/director Andrew Flemming decided to bust onto the scene in 1988 with Bad Dreams. Though the film has very little to do with being stalked and killed within one’s dreams, the similarities to the NOES series were hard to deny, especially when it comes to Dream Warriors (my personal favorite). Still, whether you think this is a rip-off or not, it’s hard to argue that this is a damn fine flick.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘The Carpenter’ (1988)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

Wings-tastic VHS Cover

The Carpenter is not a horror film about horror maestro John Carpenter, or one by him. It is also not some slasher film involving Jesus – though I think that would be amazing. Instead this is a movie all about a haunting handyman with a penchant for violence to anyone who doesn’t love his craftsmanship. You would think that there would be more construction related horror, but I can only think of a few examples. That’s just off the top of my head, there could definitely be a ton out there unknown to me. Still, in 1988 director David Wellington took this Mr. Fix-It premise and went with it, resulting in a mostly boring, but sometimes hilarious slasher thanks to its titular character.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Pinocchio’s Revenge’ (1996)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

VHS cover of Pinocchio's Revenge

I distinctly remember when Child’s Play came out in theaters. I was eight years old and wanted to see it so badly. A killer doll? That had to be amazing. But for certain reasons my parents didn’t take me to the theater. Not because it was horror, I watched plenty of that with my dad all the time. Some of my earliest memories are watching his bootleg VHS of Romero’s Dawn of the Dead when I was around four. My mom was just against me seeing killer toys, thinking that might scare me. This same reasoning kept me from Silent Night, Deadly Night. Of course, thanks to home video I saw them all soon enough and they should’ve known better.

Horror movies never scared me. Over the years the killer toy thing has been rather popular, and there were even plenty before Chucky, in 1996 director Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons) decided to merge that subgenre of horror with a fairytale in Pinocchio’s Revenge. The result is good for a few laughs but lacks any real punch and is very light on the deaths.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Memorial Valley Massacre’ (1988)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

Art for MVM

Slasher films revolving around a holiday is pretty commonplace. Halloween and Christmas are probably the most popular but there are a few at Easter, some for Thanksgiving (contrary to what you might think from Eli Roth’s fake trailer in Grindhouse), hell, there’s even one for New Year’s Eve. Of all the holidays listed on the American calendar, I can think of very few I’d be surprised to see represented. But I’ll admit that Memorial Day is high up on that shortlist. That didn’t stop writer/director Robert C. Hughes when he set out to make Memorial Valley Massacre, a body count flick set in an historic campgrounds with some fun acting, crazy characters, and a tad too much drama.




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