6 Classic Trailers For January 16th, 2022


Since today is the birthday of John Carpenter, can you guess what the theme of the latest edition of Lisa Mare’s Favorite Grindhouse Trailers is going to be?

Enjoy!

  1. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Let’s get things started with the wonderfully grainy trailer for 1976’s Assault on Precinct 13!  Though the film may have been intended as an homage to Howard Hawks’s Rio Bravo, everything about the trailer screams grindhouse.  

2. Halloween (1978)

Assault on Precinct 13 may not have set the box office on fire but it did help build Carpenter’s critical reputation.  One fan of the film was the actress Angela Pleasence, who suggested to her father, Donald, that he accept Carpenter’s offer to play the role of Dr. Loomis in Carpenter’s next film.  And that film, of course, was Halloween!

3. Escape From New York (1981)

Donald Pleasence returned to play the President in Escape from New York and, of course, Kurt Russell appeared in his first Carpenter feature film.  (Russell had previously played Elvis in a Carpenter-directed television film.)  Though the film may not have been an immediate hit in the United States, it was embraced in Europe and it led to an entire series of Italian films about people trying to escape New York.

4. The Thing (1982)

Carpenter and Russell reunited for The Thing, another film that underappreciated when first released but which has since become a classic.

5. They Live (1988)

They Live is one of Carpenter’s best films and certainly his most subversive.  What may have seemed paranoid in 1988 feels prophetic today.

6. In The Mouth of Madness (1995)

Finally, in 1995, Carpenter proved himself to be one of the few directors to be able to capture the feel of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu stories on film.  In The Mouth of Madness, like other Carpenter films, has been rewatched and reappraised over the years and is now widely recognized as a classic.

Happy birthday to the great John Carpenter!

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Space Mutiny (dir by David Winters)


“Arggggh!”

— Dave Ryder (Reb Brown) in Space Mutinty (1988)

Space Mutiny, a sci-fi epic from 1988, is full of dialogue about all sorts of political and philosophical concerns but none of it is quite as memorable as the quote above.  Dave Ryder says, “Argggggh!” a lot over the course of Space Mutiny.  He’s the newly appointed head of security for the Southern Sun, a gigantic spaceship that has spent the last 260 years traveling from Earth to a new planet.  Being head of security is important because there are some people on the Southern Sun who are plotting a mutiny.  Dave Ryder decides that the most effective way to battle the mutineers is to yell loudly and frequetly.  “ARGGGGGH!’ Ryder yells whenever he’s being shot at.  “ARGGGGGGGH!” he screams when he finds himself on a very slow and gradual collision course with the head of the mutineers.

When Dave isn’t saying stuff like, “Argggggh!,” he’s saying stuff like, “Go!  Go!  Go!”  When the bad guys open fire on him and his men, it’s time for them to “Go!  Go!  Go!”  When the mutineers are being chased, Dave is quick to tell everyone to “Go!  Go!  Go!”  He’s like the physical fitness trainer from Hell.  He never actually yells “Feel the burn!” but you can be damn well sure that he’s thinking it.  In fact, there’s a point in the movie where “Feel the burn!” actually would have been a good line.  Dave and his girlfriend, Lea (Cissie Cameron), set a mutineer on fire.  It’s actually a bit of a sadistic scene and it doesn’t come across as being the big hero moment that it’s obviously meant to be.  But, then again, Dave isn’t yelling because he’s a nice guy.  He’s yelling because he’s played by Reb Brown.  Reb Brown yelled all the way through Strike Force Commando.  Why wouldn’t he do the same for Space Mutiny?

Of course, Dave isn’t the only person barking out orders on the Southern Sun.  Cameron Mitchell plays the ship’s captain, a wise old man who looks like Santa Claus.  John Phillip Law is Kalgon, the main mutineer.  He laughs a lot.  Cissie Cameron is the captain’s daughter.  She falls for Ryder, despite the fact that she appears to be old enough to be Ryder’s mother.  (In real life, Reb Brown and Cissie Cameron are married and Cissie is only a few years older than Reb.  In Space Mutiny, she’s stuck with an unflattering hair style and is made up to look like an aging cheerleading coach.)  There’s also a woman who works on the ship’s bridge.  She’s killed in one scene, just to mysteriously turn up alive in the scene that follows.  In space, no one can hear the script supervisor.  Finally, there’s a group of alien witches who board the ship and spend the entire movie dancing in front of a ball of electricity.  Since they don’t actually interact with any of the main characters, it’s obvious that they were added to pad out the film’s running time.

One of the more interesting things about Space Mutnity is that Kalgon actually has a point.  It does seem kind of stupid to spend several hundred years traveling to just one planet when there’s other planets nearby that the ship could just as easily reach.  Indeed, the mission of the Southern Sun never makes that much sense and the Captain seems to be delusional in his insistence that it does.  The Captain’s unending faith and his long-flowing beard makes him come across like a minor biblical prophet, the type who always had to ask a major prophet to interpret his visions for hm.  The Captain does not come across like someone who really knows what he’s doing.  I don’t care how much Ryder screams, Kalgon had a point!

Today, Space Mutiny is best known for being featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and for later being taken apart by the Rifftrax crew.  Space Mutiny, though, is such an extremely silly movie that you really don’t even need any professionals to help you snark your way through it.  The film offers up such a treasure trove of material then even the most humorless among your friends will be a comedic genius by the time it ends.  It’s a fun movie, made even more so by the fact that the filmmakers apparently meant for the film to be taken seriously.  There’s a lot of talk about important issues like freedom, duty, and faith.  In the end, what you’ll remember is the screaming.

6 Classic Trailers For January 8th, 2022


Since this week started with Sergio Leone’s birthday, it only seems appropriate that today’s edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse Trailers should be dedicated to the Western.  Here are 6 classic Spaghetti western trailers!

  1. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

It only makes sense that we should start things off with a trailer from a Leone film and it makes further sense that film should be The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  It’s all here, from the classic Ennio Morricone score to the unforgettable staring contest between Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach.

2. Sabata (1969)

While Clint Eastwood was able to use his appearances in Leone’s westerns to restart his American film career, Lee Van Cleef remained in Italy.  After playing the villainous Angel Eyes, Van Cleef played the hero Sabata.  This trailer is very, very 60s.

3. Django (1966)

Franco Nero never appeared in a Sergio Leone film but he was a favorite of the famous “other Sergio,” Sergio Corbucci.  In Corbucci’s Django, Nero played the haunted title character, making his way across the west with a deadly coffin.

4. Django Kill (1967)

Django was such a hit that a number of other films were made about other haunted, amoral gunslingers named Django.  Whether or not they were all the same Django was left to the audience to decide.  In Django Kill, Tomas Milian played the title character and found himself in a surreal hellscape, surrounded by people who were obsessed with gold.

5. The Great Silence (1968)

The Great Silence was one of the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, featuring Klaus Kinski in one of his best and most villainous roles.  Unfortunately, like many of the better spaghetti westerns, it initially did not get a proper release in the States.  Fortunately, it has since been rediscovered.

6. Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

And finally, to close things out, here’s one last Sergio Leone trailer.  Sadly underappreciated when first released, Once Upon A Time In The West has since come to be recognized as a masterpiece.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Strike Commando (dir by Bruno Mattei)


“American,” a young Vietnamese refugee says to Sgt. Mike Ransom, “tell me about Disneyland.”

Ransom tells him all about Disneyland, a magical place where, according to Rasom, the trees are made of ice cream and genies pop out of lamps.  Ransom breaks down in tears, sobbing as he realizes that his friend will never get to experience Disneyland firsthand.

Years later, Ransom is in Manila, blowing up a former American military officer who gave aid to the communists.  “DIE!  DIE!” Ransom shrilly yells as the man literally explodes in front of him.  And while the man may not have been one of the good guys and he did a lot of bad things during the Vietnam War, it’s hard not to feel that Ransom’s attitude would get him banned from Disneyland.  Not even the ghost hitchhikers at the Haunted Mansion would want to accept a ride from the “Die!  Die!” guy.

That Mike Ransom, he’s a complicated man.  As played by Reb Brown, he’s also at the center of the 1987 Italian film, Strike Commando.  As you can probably guess from the film’s title, he’s the leader of an elite squad of soldiers, a team of strike commandoes who are determined to lead America to victory during the Vietnam War.  We’re continually told that Ransom is the best, though we don’t see much of evidence of it.  He’s the type of commando who specializes in sneaking behind enemy lines and hitting the communists before they even realize he’s there but he’s so bulky and loud that it’s hard to imagine that he’s ever been able to successful sneak around anywhere.  He has a particularly bad habit of shrilly screaming every word that he says.  Even when he’s not telling people to die, he’s yelling.  He’s like the athletic coach from Hell.

In fact, as I watched Strike Commando, I started to wonder what it would be like to live next door to someone like Mike Ransom.

“Hi, Mike, are you doing okay?”

“I’M DOING GREAT!  GREAT!  GREAT!”

“Any plans for the day?”

“I’M MOWING THE LAWN!  MOWING!  MOWING!  MOWING!”

“I think I’ve got some mail for you that accidentally left in my mailbox….”

“THE POSTAL SERVICE LIED!  LIED!  LIED!  LIED!”

At first, living next door to Mike Ransom would probably be entertaining but I imagine it would get kind of boring after a while.  Yelling can be an effective way to express yourself but it loses its power if that’s the only thing you ever do.  The same can be said for Strike Commando as a film.  It gets off to a good start, with several extremely over-the-top action sequences and, of course, Mike telling a little refugee child about Disneyland.  But the second half of the film, which involves Mike being held in a POW camp and meeting a fearsome Russian torturer named Jakoda, drags a bit because there’s only so much time you can listen to Ransom yell before you start to tune him out.  It doesn’t help that the second half of the film features some particularly nasty torture scenes.  Still, it is somewhat redeemed by a scene where the Viet Cong attempt to force Ransom to broadcast a propaganda message over their radio station.  “KEEP FIGHTING!” Ransom yells into the microphone.  Hell yeah! You tell ’em, Ransom!

Strike Commando was directed by Bruno Mattei, an Italian exploitation filmmaker who was never one to just turn things up to ten when he could turn them up to 11 instead.  Strike Commando was obviously meant to capitalize on the success of the Rambo films.  In typical Mattei fashion, the action is over-the-top, nonstop, and more than a little silly.  Mattei was never shied away from embracing excess and Strike Commando has everything that you would expect from one of his war films: lots of stuff blowing up, heavy-handed use of slow motion, and plenty of grainy stock footage.  You have to admire Mattei’s dedication to always finding something for Reb Brown to yell about.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Penitentiary (dir by Jamaa Fanaka)


In the 1979 prison/blaxploitation film Penitentiary, everyone gets a nickname.

For instance, the main character, played by Leon Isaac Kennedy, may be named Martel Gordone but everyone calls him “Too Sweet,” because he’s addicted to Mr. Goodbar candy bars.  Just because Gordone has been sent to prison for a murder that he didn’t actually commit, that’s not going to stop him from going out of his way to eat all the candy that he can.  Fortunately, all that candy has not effected his ability to throw a punch or win a fight because this prison is obsessed with boxing.

Too Sweet’s first cellmate is known as Half-Dead (Badja Dola).  Half-Dead got his name because he’s already dead on the inside.  At least, that’s what I assume the nickname means.  It could also mean that, if you find yourself sharing a cell with him, you’re already as good as dead.  Half-Dead is violent and sadistic and when he feels that Too Sweet isn’t showing him enough respect, Half-Dead attacks.  After an extremely long and grueling fight (one that is made all the more intense by the fact that it’s taking place in a cramped cell), Too Sweet succeeded in kicking Half-Dead’s ass.

Seldom Seen (Floyd Chetman) is Too Sweet’s second cellmate.  Seldom Seen is …. well, he’s seldom seen.  He has spent 50 of his 65 years in prison.  Seldom avoids all of the prison drama and instead, he spends his time in his cell, reading books while sitting in front of a poster of Malcolm X.  Seldom Seen, it turns out, used to be a boxer and, when Too Sweet decides to enter the prison boxing tournament, Seldom Seen not only serves as his trainer but also as his mentor.

Jesse “The Bull” Amos (Donovan Womack) is also entering the boxing tournament.  Jesse is know as the Bull because he’s big, he’s tough, and he never stops coming after his opponents.  He becomes angry when Too Sweet encourage the Bull’s cellmate, “Genie” (Thommy Pollard), to stand up for himself and to not let any man treat him as being “property.”  The Bull wants revenge.

Of course, there’s more to the prison boxing tournament than just getting revenge.  Win a fight and the warden will allow you an entire week of conjugal visits.  Win the tournament and you’ll get early parole and …. wait, a minute, what?  I’m all for emptying the prisons and giving people second chances but I’m pretty sure that’s not how parole works.  Oh well, it’s a movie, right?

Penitentiary was directed by Jamaa Fanaka, who also directed the very first film that I ever reviewed for this site, Welcome Home Brother Charles.  Like Brother Charles, Penitentiary is a film that is obsessed with the idea of being a prisoner of not just the legal system but also of society as a whole.  Too Sweet doesn’t just learn how to box.  He also learns, from Seldom Seen, that the key to being the “freest man in the world” is to learn how to control your desires and to exercise the self-discipline necessary to make something of yourself.  Penitentiary never quite reaches the lunatic heights of Welcome Home Brother Charles, of course.  Penitentiary is a far more straight-forward film.  Welcome Home Brother Charles featured the title character using his penis to strangle his enemies.  In Penitentiary, Too Sweet is content to just beat them up in the boxing ring.

Penitentiary gets off to a strong start.  Leon Isaac Kennedy gives a likable performance as Too Sweet and the initial fight between Too Sweet and Half-Dead is handled well.  Surprisingly enough, it’s during the boxing scenes that the film starts to run out of energy.  The boxing matches go on forever and Fanaka gets bogged down with repetitive scenes of prisoners ducking into a prison restroom to get it on while the guards are distracted by the fight.  The film’s narrative momentum stalls out long before the inevitable match between Too Sweet and the Bull.  For all the build-up, the final fight turns out to be oddly anti-climatic.

Penitentiary has some strong moments but it doesn’t really come together as a whole. Still, it did well-enough at the box office that Fanaka would go on to direct two increasingly surreal sequels.

6 Classic Trailers For January 1st, 2022


Well, it’s the first day of a new year and that means that it’ time for me to bring back a feature that was once quite popular on this site, Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers.  This is where I just share six trailers, sometimes all dealing with the same thing and sometimes not.  Unfortunately, because there’s only so many trailers available on YouTube, you’ll probably see a few trailers listed more than once.  It can’t be helped but no matter!  Trailers are fun and hopefully, watching a few of them will be an enjoyable way for you to start your day or your week or whatever.  I certainly enjoy them!

Since it’s the start of a new year and I already shared a music video for The Hustle, I figured I would continue that disco theme now.  Below are 6 trailers that will hopefully leave you dancing!

  1. Thank God It’s Friday (1978)

Considering that this film won an Oscar and was released by a major studio and featured both Jeff Goldblum and future Oscar nominee Debra Winger in the cast, it may seem odd to include this trailer in a feature about exploitation film previews.  But seriously, just watch the movie!  Yes, Last Dance is great but otherwise, this movie is pure drive-in gold.

2. Skatetown USA (1979)

“The greatest story ever rolled!”  Check out Patrick Swayze, playing a bad guy.  Swayze made his film debut here and, when he became a star, he actually tired to buy the rights to the film to keep anyone from ever seeing it again.  Honestly, though, it’s not that bad.  The music’s good.  Some of the routines are fun.  Swayze smolders with intensity.  Put on your skates and dance!

3. Roller Boogie (1979)

At the same time that Patrick Swayze was dominating Skatetown USA, Linda Blair was teaching a nation how to roll, dance, and love.

4. Disco Godfather (1979)

Of course, the disco wasn’t always a safe place.  Even in the 70s, it was a dangerous world out there.  Fortunately, Rudy Ray Moore was around to keep the peace and prevent the dancers from getting hooked on PCP.  “Put your weight on it, put your weight on it, put your weight on it!”

5. Can’t Stop The Music (1980)

You can’t stop the music …. no matter how much you try!  This was an attempt at a Village People movie.  It apparently didn’t really go very well.  I’ve never actually seen the film, though I suppose I’ll have to watch it someday.

6. Xanadu (1980)

Heh …. on YouTube, this is listed as being “A Gene Kelly movie.”  Yeah, Gene Kelly is one of the stars but I still don’t know if I’d necessarily call this “A Gene Kelly movie,” in the same way that I might use the label for Singin’ In The Rain or An American In ParisXanadu was one of the last of the big disco movies and it’ll live forever, though perhaps not in the way that it was originally intended to.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Satan’s School For Girls (dir by David Lowell Rich)


Have you ever wanted to enroll in a private school so that you could investigate a murder and maybe uncover some sort of occult conspiracy?  Sure, we all have!  Well, don’t worry …. there’s a place for you!  Welcome to Salem Academy, an exclusive all-girl’s college where students learn all the basic subjects, along with taking courses in art and human sacrifice!

Salem Academy is overseen by the feared and intimidating Mrs. Williams (Jo Van Fleet), who keeps a close eye on her students and tries to make sure that they aren’t distracted or corrupted by any outside influences. However, not even Mrs. Williams can keep Martha Sayers (Terry Lumley) from fleeing the school and going to her sister’s house in Los Angeles. When Martha’s sister, Elizabeth (Pamela Franklin), returns home, she discovers that Martha has been hanged. The police say that it was suicide. Elizabeth believes that it’s something else.

So, Elizabeth does what any vengeance-seeking sister would do. Using an assumed name, she enrolls in Salem Academy herself. She meets and befriends three other students (played by Kate Jackson, Jamie Smith Jackson, and Cheryl Ladd). She gets to know two rather suspicious teachers, Prof. Delacroix (Lloyd Bochner) and Dr. Clampett (Roy Thinnes). She also manages to raise the concerns of Mrs. Williams, who doesn’t like the fact that the new girl keeps asking so many questions about why so many students at Salem Academy have died recently.

Still, Elizabeth continues to investigate. Perhaps the secret can be found in a mysterious painting that she comes across, one that appears to be of Martha? Perhaps the teachers and the students know more than they’re telling. But who can Elizabeth trust?

A made-for-television film from 1973, Satan’s School For Girls is frequently as silly as its name.  Fortunately, the film, which was produced by Aaron Spelling and directed David Lowell Rich, seems to understand just how ludicrous it is and it totally embraces both the melodrama and the silliness of its plot. This film is totally product of the time in which it was made, from the dialogue to the hairstyles to the fashions to the ending that you’ll see coming from a mile away. At the same time, that’s also why this film is a lot of fun. It’s such a product of its time that it doubles as a time capsule. Do you want to go back to 1973? Well, go over to YouTube and watch Satan’s School For Girls.  After you’ve watched it, step outside and ask anyone who the president is and they’ll probably say, “Richard Nixon.”  And if you ask them who they’re favorite Brady is, they’ll look at you like your crazy because everyone know that Marcia is the best Brady.  If you even have to ask, it’s obvious that you don’t really watch the show.  After that, you should probably try to find a way to get back to 2021 before you change the future or something.  You know how tricky time travel can be.

As for Satan’s School for Girls, it’s just a really fun movie so check it out and be sure not to be late for class!

Lisa Marie’s Grindhouse Trailers: 12 Trailers For Halloween


For today’s Halloween edition of Lisa’s Marie Favorite Grindhouse Trailers, I present to you, without comment, the trailers for my 12 favorite horror movies.

Happy Halloween!

  1. The Shining (1980)

2. Suspiria (1977)

3. A Field in England (2013)

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

5. Zombi 2 (1979)

6. The Exorcist (1973)

7. Halloween (1978)

8. Two Orphan Vampires (1996)

9. Near Dark (1987)

10. Scream and Scream Again (1970)

11. Horror of Dracula (1958)

12. Messiah of Evil (1973)

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Spiral: From the Book of Saw (dir by Darren Lynn Bousman)


I can imagine the pitch sessions for Spiral: From The Book Saw.

“What do people really like the Saw movies?”

“The Jigsaw Killer!”

“Right!  So let’s make a Saw movie without the Jigsaw Killer.  What else do people like about the Saw movies?”

“The gory but clever torture scenes!”

“Right!  So, let’s only have a few torture scenes that are gory but not particularly clever.  What else would make this a good Saw film?”

“A star in the leading role!”

“Right!  So, let’s cast a comedian who is a notoriously terrible actor.”

“YAY!”

Anyway, Spiral features Chris Rock as a hard-boiled homicide detective who spends almost the entire movie with a scowl on his face.  He does make a few jokes but they’re all of the “This is a New Jack city!” variety.  Rock is living in the shadow of his wildly popular police chief father, played by Samuel L. Jackson.  Rock is a tough cop who does things HIS WAY!  And he can’t trust anyone else on the force because he’s just so honest.

Spiral does not feature Tobin Bell, though we do briefly see a picture of him when someone mentions that the latest round of murders seem like they may have been committed by a Jigsaw copycat.  The thing with copycats is who cares?  They can’t even come up with an original idea.  They have to copy another killer.  I mean, there’s a lot of movies about killers in the woods but people remain loyal to Jason Voorhees because he was the original.  Just like with Halloween. Every reboot, except for the third one, has featured Michael because without Michael, who cares?  You can lose everyone else but Michael, and how people react specifically to Michal, is what the franchise revolves around.  So, with Saw, if Jigsaw is not there …. WHO CARES!?

Listen, I don’t even like the Saw movies but even I was annoyed by this film’s lack of Jigsaw.

Anyway, it’s a dumb movie.  It tries for a bit of political relevancy by making almost all of the victims crooked cops but it’s like Defund Copycat Serial Killers, not the police.  Chris Rock and his new partner are investigating all the murders and Rock tries so hard to give a convincing performance that it becomes painful to watch.  Seriously, if you’re good at comedy, do comedy.  Be proud of it because a lot of people are not good at comedy.  If playing a dramatic character is that much of a struggle for you, don’t do it.  That’s why we’ve got actors like …. uhmmm, that guy who was in that really dramatic movie, whatever it was called.  It was really good and dramatic.  He would have been good for the lead in Spiral.  Actually, Ethan Hawke would have been good as the lead too.  Or maybe Denzel Washington.  But good luck getting them to agree to be in a Saw movie that doesn’t feature Tobin Bell.

Anyway, Spiral was pretty disappointing.  Chris Rock is funny and likable in comedies so maybe that’s what he should stick with for now.  Leave the dramatic crime stuff to the cast of the latest Dick Wolf show, y’know?  And if there is another Saw movie, Jigsaw better come back to life because otherwise, what’s the point?

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Terrifier (dir by Damien Leone)


Are you scared of clowns?

I’ve never really had much of a problem with clowns, beyond the fact that some of them really do need to learn how apply lipstick without getting it all over their face. That said, two years ago, I watched the 2016 horror film, Terrifier, on Netflix and I now totally understand why some of my friends are totally terrified of the grinning men in the white makeup. I mean, I will send a Pennywise GIF to my clownphobic friends without even worrying about what damage I may or may not be doing to their mental well-being but I can guarantee you right now that I will never send any of them a picture of Art the Clown.

Art the Clown

Art (who is played by David Howard Thornton) is the clown at the center of Terrifier and, as you can tell from looking at the picture above, he’s not exactly a clown that you want to meet in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, over the course of the film, several innocent people do just that. There’s the homeless woman who meets him in an abandoned building. There’s the two drunk girls who, after leaving a Halloween party, make the mistake of laughing at Art. There’s the owner of the pizzeria who makes the mistake of kicking Art out of his establishment. Art, it turns out, doesn’t deal well with rejection. It also turns out that Art can turn just about anything into a deadly weapon. (We also later learn that Art just happens to have a chainsaw. Agck!)

Art doesn’t speak. We never learn where Art came from and why he insists on killing everyone that he meets. This lack of motivation makes Art a very scary clown indeed. We can only assume that he kills because he’s evil and, being a creature of pure evil, there’s really no way to reason with him or to rationalize his actions. Art is pure chaos released into the world and, as a result, he’s terrifying. If nothing else, Terrifier is a film that lives up to its name.

Director Damien Leone made Terrifier with a budget of a $100,000 and he uses that low budget to his advantage. The deserted building where Art stalks the majority of his victims is a genuinely atmospheric location and, even if they were done cheaply, the gore effects are disturbingly nightmarish. Fortunately, Leone gets some good performances from his cast, which makes the film all the more frightening. David Howard Thornton has enough presence to make Art the Clown intimidating, even when he’s just standing still and staring at nothing. As the film’s “final girl,” Samantha Scaffidi gives a likable and relatable performance. Wisely, the film neither turns her into a super warrior nor a simpering fool. Instead, she’s just a normal person trying to survive the night, much like those of us watching the film in what we hope is the safety of our own home.

Terrifier is an effectively scary little slasher film. It’s not for everyone, of course. It’s a film for horror fans and it has little interest in reaching out to people who don’t normally enjoy the genre. The violence is brutal and the film doesn’t shy away from gore. Those of you who easily fall prey to nightmares may want to stay away. As for those of you who are scared of clowns …. well, Terrifier will prove the correctness of your phobia. Seriously, if clowns scare you, don’t watch this movie. It’ll be safer for you just to watch It again….