Okay, let’s state right off the bat that another “found footage” alien abduction film is probably the last thing the world needs — but that’s hardly the fault of filmmakers Sean Bardin (co-director/screenwriter) and Robert Cooley (co-director), not least because their entry in this crowded field, Unaware, was lensed “way back” in 2010, well before these things became ubiquitous. Admittedly, though, it sat around gathering dust until flicks of this nature were everywhere (2013, to be specific, when it was released on DVD), and like a lot of you, I’m sure, I gave it a pass at that point. Still, now that’s available for streaming on Amazon Prime, I figured, what the hell? It surely can’t be worse than The Phoenix Tapes ’97, can it?
As it turns out, though, it’s not only better than bottom-barrel dwellers than that, it can hold its own with Alien Valley,
Don’t feel bad if you don’t. To be honest, I had totally forgotten about it until, two years ago, my friend Janeen mentioned it to me. (And to be honest, I’m not sure if I ever knew about it before then. Memories can inconsistent, especially when it comes to obscure TV shows that didn’t last for very long.) Freakylinks is a show that aired on Fox back in 2000. It only lasted one season and it was about this guy (played by Ethan Embry) who ran a website called freakylinks.com. To me, that sounds like a porn site but apparently, it was actually a site dedicated to investigating the paranormal.
Freakylinks was produced by the same company that produced The Blair Witch Project. A few months before the show premiered, in order to try to create some Blair Witch-style buzz for the production, the production company set up a website called Freakylinks.com and designed it to look like it was just some ghost hunter’s Geocities-style blog. While the web site got some publicity, it didn’t translate into ratings and Freakylinks was canceled. The freakylinks.com domain is currently for sale if anyone wants to buy it and turn it into a paranormal porn site. (Who says the two have to be separate?)
The entire series has been uploaded to YouTube and below you’ll find a pilot!
Prepare to take a trip into the past, to a time when the internet was still a mysterious and powerful thing and people apparently didn’t realize that anyone with time to kill could make a web site.
In 1986, nerds could build robots that displayed human feelings.
Angry old neighbors hate robots.
If a nerd can build a robot that displays human feelings, then he can also bring his girlfriend back to life by putting a computer chip from the robot in her brain.
Once brought back to life, the girlfriend will start to behave just like the robot.
Basketballs can be used to do anything.
Deadly Friend is best remembered for the scene where the newly revived Samantha (Kristy Swanson) throws a basketball with such force that it causes the head of her neighbor (Anne Ramsey) to explode. It is also remembered for BB, the big yellow robot that was built by Paul (Matthew Laborteaux). Deadly Friend starts out as the ultimate nerd fantasy: a beautiful girlfriend. a big robot, and a killer basketball. By the end of the movie, the fantasy has turned into a nightmare.
Deadly Friend was Wes Craven’s follow-up to A Nightmare on Elm Street. Craven intended for the film to be a dark love story between a teenage outcast and his zombie girlfriend, with a strong emphasis on the hypocrisy of the adults around them. Craven said that, in his version of Deadly Friend, people like Samantha’s abusive father were meant to be scarier than Zombie Samantha With A Microchip In Her Brain. Warner Bros. wanted a film that would appeal to teenage horror fans and demanded Elm Street-stlye nightmares and buckets of more blood. As a result, Craven practically disowned the finished movie and Deadly Friend is a tonally inconsistent, with sentimental first love scenes competing for space with heads exploding and necks being snapped. Despite good performances from Laborteaux and Swanson, the final film is too much of a mess to work. However, I know that I will never look at a basketball the same way again.
Director Edgar G. Ulmer made some astounding contributions to the horror/sci-fi genres: THE BLACK CAT, BLUEBEARD, THE MAN FROM PLANET X . Unfortunately, THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN isn’t among them. The below-low budget movie (shot on location in Dallas simultaneously with BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER) tries to throw too many things at the wall, and nothing really sticks, thanks to a weak script and short 57 minutes running time.
Ulmer does show flourishes of his brilliance in the opening scene, where safecracker Joe Faust breaks out of prison, is chased by hounds through the woods, and is met by a woman who drives him to a deserted looking, isolated farmhouse. But by this time, he had been beaten down from years of Poverty Row work with little to no recognition, and you can tell Ulmer just took the money and ran with this one.
The woman is Laura Matson, one of a nest of spies led…
4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.
This October, I am going to be using our 4 Shots From 4 Films feature to pay tribute to some of my favorite horror directors, in alphabetical order! That’s right, we’re going from Argento to Zombie in one month!
Today’s director: Guillermo Del Toro!
4 Shots From 4 Films
The Devil’s Backbone (2001, dir. by Guillermo Del Toro)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, dir. by Guillermo Del Toro)
Crimson Peak (2015, dir by Guillermo Del Toro)
The Shape of Water (2017, dir by Guillermo Del Toro)
No, actually, they don’t. If anything, they cause crimes to happen.
First released in 1971 and directed by Al Adamson, Dracula vs. Frankenstein may not be a good film but it’s definitely an unforgettable film. Yes, it may be thoroughly inept but it’s also perhaps the strangest take on the Dracula/Frankenstein rivalry that you’ll ever see.
Plus, it’s one of the final films of Lon Chaney, Jr. Unfortunately, Lon doesn’t exactly look his best in Dracula vs Frankenstein...
Speaking of slumming celebrities, long before he played Dr. Jacoby and inspired America to shout, “Dig yourself out of the shit!,” Russ Tamblyn played a biker named Rico in this movie.
Also, like every other exploitation film made in 1971, Dracula vs. Frankenstein features hippies, leading to the age old question: who needs the supernatural when you’ve got LSD-crazed hippies running around?
Another age old question: Is Dracula vs. Frankenstein merely inept or is it a classic of bad filmmaking?
The movie known as Bloody Movie was originally filmed in 1987, under the title Terror Night. However, it was never released. There are plenty of rumors about why it wasn’t released. Some people say that it was because the film was produced with Mafia money. Some people say it was because it used a lot of footage that was lifted from other movies and the producers apparently didn’t bother to clear the rights. Of course, it’s also totally possible that the film wasn’t released because it wasn’t very good. I mean, that does happen.
Regardless of why, the film apparently sat on the shelf for 20 years. It was finally released by Fred Olen Ray’s Retromedia and retitled Bloody Movie. That said, the DVD that I own (and watched for this review) was released by Legacy Entertainment and still had the Terror Night title. The transfer on the Legacy DVD was notably bad. From what I’ve been told, the Retromedia release looks a lot better.
Now, there’s a lot bad things that can be said about Terror Night. It’s low-budget, which is one of those things that can be overcome by a clever director but, in this case, it just results in Terror Night looking cheap. It’s poorly written, full of one-dimensional characters who were shallow even by the standards of a late 80s slasher. This is also one of those movies where formerly respectable actors pop up for five minutes cameos. Whenever one of those actors shows up, all the action stops so that they can earn their paycheck. Aldo Ray is homeless and doomed. Cameron Mitchell is a cynical cop and doomed. Alan Hale, Jr. is an affable security guard and apparently not doomed. There’s no real reason for any of them to be there but there they are! There’s also a biker couple who show up for no particular reason, along with the typical collection of teenage victims.
But yet, there are moments when Terror Night goes from being bland to being almost transcendently odd.. There are moments of comedy mixed in with some surprisingly mean-spirited death scenes. Necks are snapped. Heads are chopped off. Bodies are split in half. It all gets rather messy and the presence of all those old time actors makes the sudden gore scenes feel all the more strange.
However, the main thing that distinguishes Terror Night from the other slashers of the era is the identity of the killer. (And, before anyone yells at me, this is not a spoiler. There is never any mystery about who the killer is.) Lance Hayward is not a zombie like Jason Voorhees or a silent symbol of evil like Michael Myers. He’s not seeking vengeance for some crime in the past. Instead, he’s a former silent screen star. (It seems like Hayward would have been close to 90 years old at the time of Terror Night. He’s still surprisingly spry.) Hayward commits his murders while wearing costumes from his old movies. Adding to the strangeness of the whole scenario is that actual silent footage is spliced into the murder scenes. Most of the footage comes from movies like The Thief of Baghdad, The Black Pirate, and the Gaucho. You have to wonder if Douglas Fairbanks cheated the director’s father or something.
(Since Hayward spends most of the movie in costume, I’m assuming that he was mostly played by stuntmen. When Hayward actually shows his face, he’s played by one-time Oscar nominee, John Ireland. At the height of his career, Ireland co-starred in films like All The King’s Men.)
As to why a silent scream star would be murdering teenagers … well, your guess is as good as mine. It’s a strange film, a mix of gore and nostalgia. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it but I still always appreciate anything this strange.
Dokken had a total of three songs, including Dream Warriors, released for A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987). They had their 1984 song, Into The Fire, played at the beginning of the film. I recently watched the movie on DVD, and that was the song played over the opening credits. According to Wikipedia, in theaters, it was also played over the opening credits, but for some reason, the original VHS release used the song Quiet Cool. Maybe there was a rights issue that was resolved by the time they got to the DVD release.
That brings me to the next thing. Not only is this video officially posted, but it’s in 720p. You don’t see that everyday on older videos–no matter how well-known they are. They appear to have done that for all the Dokken music videos that were put up in 2015. I’m really glad they did because it helps this video significantly. I know there’s movie footage in here, but because of the quality of the video, it blends in more with the stuff they shot for the video.
For those of you who haven’t seen Dream Warriors, the film takes place in a mental institution with the last of the offspring of the parents who burned Freddy to death. What happened to Jesse from part 2? Who knows. The best guess people seem to have is that Jesse is the kid they refer to as having cut off their eyelids to escape the nightmares.
A girl named Kirsten, played by Patricia Arquette, has the ability to pull people into her dreams. She’s havnig nightmares about the Elm Street house where Freddy is hanging out with numerous things to remind you of the first film such as a sticky floor.
She ends up getting committed to a mental institution where she meets a variety of different people. The gist is that they all have dreams that transcend their physical conditions, such as the kid in the wheelchair being able to walk, the nerdy kid who plays the movie’s version of D&D actually being a wizard, and Kirsten doing martial arts/gymnastics.
If you go through the different alter-egos of the kids and remember the 1980s, then you quickly realize that they are all things that adults in the 1980s would call hopeless, Satanic, you’re imagining your life away, get real, etc. Despite the emergence of Jokester-Freddy, he does act as a stand-in for parents, faux-Christians, news media, and others who would come up with some excuse to crush the dreams of these kids.
In the end, only a few survive in order to be killed by four screenwriters and director Renny Harlin in the 4th film. At least that’s the way I read it.
Oh, and Nancy is there so that they can leap over part 2 and tell us for sure that her mother did die at the end of the first film. John Saxon also shows up so that we can find out that Freddy’s remains were kept in the trunk of what I swear was the same model car as Christine–no joke.
I understand those parts. Why we needed to find out that Freddy is the child of a nun who was raped hundreds of times–again, who knows.
Anyways, only Kirsten, Freddy, and Dokken are in this music video, so forget about any of that showing up.
The video starts the same way as the movie, with Kirsten making a model house of the Elm Street one. Except this time she remembers to put on protective Dokken wards.
The video gets weird almost immediately because we quickly cut to Dokken being in the house. Did she pull them in?
They seem to be there to bother both Freddy and her. At one point, Freddy even seems to be pissed off that the band is scaring Kirsten more effectively, so he turns one of his stock jump-rope kids that she is holding into a skeleton.
At another point, one of the band members intersects with a scene from the movie to do a guitar solo, which I guess bothers Freddy because he drags him away.
Without the movie in front of me, I’m about 80% sure that Arquette didn’t shoot footage specifically for this music video. Englund on the other hand, definitely did, not only because of his interactions with the band, but because we see Freddy wake up at the end after being defeated by hair metal.
“What a nightmare! Who were those guys?” –Freddy Krueger
I hear you, Freddy. It isn’t fair. Jason gets Alice Cooper and you get Dokken. Don’t worry, he’ll show up as your father a couple of films down the road.
I guess that means we were in Freddy’s nightmare. I haven’t watched parts 5, 6, and 7 yet, so maybe it will make sense then–but probably not. I’m just going to assume that throughout the 1980s, Freddy had nightmares about heavy metal bands.