Rental Regrets: Cellar Dweller (1988)

Here we go again with another rental regret that I have weighing on my conscience from my horror movie renting days in the 80’s.  Now to clarify, this is a movie that I always saw at my local video store and for whatever reason passed over and rented something else. And now I’m having regrets!  Hence the name of the post.  And the movie I am speaking of is…………..

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Cellar Dweller!  Now, I can’t really give a valid reason as to why I never rented this – but I should have snatched it up considering those legs in the fishnet stockings on the cover. Rawwwwrrrr!  I would grab those too, Mr. Monster hand.  Ok, pervy me aside – the premise for Cellar Dweller sounds interesting enough:

Thirty years have passed since the grisly murder/suicide of Colin Childress, creator of the comic book, Cellar Dweller. But, as often happens to those ignorant of it, comic book artist Whitney Taylor is doomed to repeat history in a most grotesque way. Little does she know that her twisted renderings will soon reincarnate the bloody hysteria of Cellar Dweller.

Comic books, monsters, and a murder/suicide?  Talk about a trifecta.  Let’s take a look at the severely outdated trailer and get some more convincing:

Jeffrey Combs?  Lily Munster?  That guy from the 80’s show Head Of The Class that went on to be a bad director?  Pentagrams written on the cover of books?  Oh, how the hell did I pass this up (shakes fist vehemently in the air).  Not to mention that it’s directed by John Carl Buechler (Friday The 13th Part VII, Troll) to add some more interest.  Alright, I can be the bigger man and admit when I’m wrong.  And I’m going to right that wrong and seek out Cellar Dweller as soon as possible to enjoy the full viewing experience!

I Can’t Get Enough Of The Opening To ‘Graduation Day’ (1981)

With all of the turmoil going on in the country right now, there is one thing that can unite us all as one.  One thing that can take away all of the pain burning through our bodies.  One thing that can help us rise above the bullshit that we may endure for the next 4 years.  And that thing is……………………..The opening 5 minutes of the 1981 slasher movie Graduation Day!

Awwwww yeah!  Boogie down, baby!  If that doesn’t take the Trump stench off your clothes, nothing will.  And yes in case you were confused after watching that clip, Graduation Day is a horror movie and not an after school special about a track team who just wants to dance.  Oh – and I apologize if any of you had a seizure while watching some of the editing that was done in the video too.  Granted, I recently revisited Graduation Day and realized that it is an underrated gem as far as cheesy 80’s slasher movies go. And it even has a young Vanna White in it!  Not turning letters though unfortunately.

**BREAKING GRADUATION DAY NEWS**

Upon looking up the movie on Wikipedia, it states that Graduation Day has made over 23 million dollars.  And it cost $250,000 to make.  This has to be a typo or a joke, right? Whatever.  How about that opening theme song?!?!  Yeah!

5 Observations From Tim Ritter’s ‘Killing Spree’ Trailer (1987)

Sometimes you have to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the glory of cheesy 80’s horror movies.  Luckily for us, writer/director Tim Ritter (not sure if he’s any relation to John) kept us fat and happy with a smorgasbord of delicious offerings like the ‘I have no words for this’ movie Truth Or Dare in 1986, and his ‘I’m no one trick pony’ follow-up in 1987…..Killing Spree!

Speaking of the aforementioned, if you’ve never seen the trailer for it – then we’re going to play a fun game where we watch it together and then give five observations afterward. Ready?  Roll it!

1.  A title card is always more effective when you have blood dripping down it. 

2.  The actor playing the killer deserved an Oscar for his laugh alone. 

3.  The giant-lipped woman will give me nightmares and also gives new meaning to the term ‘DSLs’.

4.  Clearly that’s a fake head at :52 in.  Oh, and that’s the best fake head throw ever.

5.  A ceiling fan can’t really chop the top of your head off.  Completely inaccurate. 

Well those were my five observations.  What are yours?  Don’t be shy.  Ok great – those are all spectacular.  Good job!  An honorable mention observation for me would be the amazing synthy 80’s score.  And do I have good news for you if you’re feeling what I felt with the music because for the first time ever, you can grab the soundtrack on vinyl right HERE!  Little films like Killing Spree can go a long way, so seek it out if you want to time travel back to the 80’s and take all of the nasty goodness in.

Monday Bloody Monday: ‘Meat Grinder Death’ From ‘Slaughterhouse’ (1987)

While being bored on a Friday night recently, I discovered the 1987 horror/comedy slasher Slaughterhouse.  It’s a charming little story about a father and son who own a, you guessed it…..slaughterhouse!  They’re in danger of losing it to some big shots in town, so of course they decide to kill everyone to get even.  Hilarity (both intentional and not) ensues, and I have to say that it was actually a refreshing watch.

Sooooooo, welcome to Monday Bloody Monday where I’m going to highlight a scene from the movie where Buddy Bacon (of course that’s his name) and his dimwitted son Lester take justice into their own hands and into their own meat grinder.  Gotta love Buddy’s facial expressions during this scene.  God bless 80’s horror and god bless Slaughterhouse!  Oh – I almost forgot!  I’m going to include a special PSA from the movie that warns you about smoking in the movie theater.  Because that apparently happened in the 80’s.  Enjoy!

Rental Regrets: Scared Stiff (1987)

Much like that overstuffed burrito I just ate, I’m full of regrets.  Most would say I’m also full of something else, but regrets are what we’re talking about right now.  And I always had regrets back in my VHS-renting days of horror movies that I couldn’t quite pull the trigger on.  Enter into the mix the 1987 blockbuster Scared Stiff!  I figured if I threw the word ‘blockbuster’ in there that you would be more inclined to keep reading.

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Ahhhh – look at that beauty.  How did I never rent this?  Oh I’m sure I just passed it by and rented Slumber Party Massacre II for the tenth time.  I’m always a sucker for good title font, and I actually kind of dig it here.  Reading the synopsis more closely, it looks as though the plot revolved around voodoo curses and slave owners.  Not exactly my cup of tea when I was a 13-year-old horror movie upstart, but I’m sure I could have taken a chance on it.  Looks as though Variety magazine was quoted as saying that Scared Stiff was “……..too explicit for the squeamish.”  What the hell, man?!  I love explicit things!  Only one way to settle this once and for all and see if I should finally watch it.  To the Youtube trailer!

Oh man.  I’m sold!  And it looks as though the only thing that’s really explicit is the bad acting.  And those terrible effects too.  This has ‘pack and bowl and watch’ written all over it.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Scared Stiff has probably not gotten the Blu-ray treatment thus far.  That’s ok, I’m sure I can find a watchable version on eBay.  Let me look……(do do do….do do do….do do do).  Ok, I’m back.  Didn’t find a VHS or DVD, but I did find THIS.  For those who don’t want to click the link, it’s a promotional paper weight for the film.  So……if you’ve ever wanted a Scared Stiff paper weight, there you go.

Great Moments In Horror Hair History: Samantha’s Hair From ‘Night Of The Comet’ (1984)

(Sexy synthy 80’s music starts playing)  Alright guys, and some girls, it’s time to take a trip back to 1984’s campy classic Night Of The Comet.  And no, I’m not here to talk about the fact that this movie is still heavily underrated.  I’m here to talk sexy hair.  And not just any sexy hair.  I’m here to talk about THIS sexy hair!

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Hell yeah.  That right there is Kelli Maroney, who played Samantha in the movie and battled post-apocalyptic zombies with a machine gun.  If you haven’t seen Night Of The Comet, then hopefully that last sentence sold you on doing so.  I know I’m not alone at having a crush on Samantha in her pink and blue cheerleader outfit, but just try and focus on the hair for now.  It does look a little mangy, and I could see myself maybe getting my hand stuck in it – but you can’t deny that it’s glorious and about as 80’s as 80’s hair can get.   So because of that, it gives me great honor to induct Samantha into the class of Great Moments In Horror Hair History!  Now let’s direct our focus back onto the cheerleader outfit.

On Second Thought: I Regret Never Renting ‘Slaughterhouse Rock’ (1988)

Growing up, I pretty much lived at the video store.  Mind you, this is when VHS rentals were all the rage and I was raging like a motherfucker.  I would rent five, sometimes even ten horror movies at a time and just binge watch.  There were always some movies that slipped through the cracks though and I never bothered to rent them.  1988’s Slaughterhouse Rock was one of those:

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Wait.  It had a killer soundtrack by Devo?!?!  Goddammit.  I think what always threw me off about this movie was the title.  I wasn’t much into showtunes back then and still am really not today, so the name Slaughterhouse Rock made me think that there was going to be a lot of fingersnapping and dancing going on for some reason.  Perhaps I was hasty with my decision, especially after finding out this clip below on Youtube that I’m assuming is a part at the end of the movie that decided to include a compilation of some of the awesomeness that occurred earlier.  Or maybe it was foreshadowing which wouldn’t make much sense, because then you would already see things that were going to happen and that would ruin the surprise, you know?  Oh who cares – just watch the clip:

I know what you’re thinking.  That woman who was doing the resurrection of the soul dance looks awfully familiar.  Come to find out that it’s none other than Toni Basil!  Who the hell is Toni Basil, you ask?  Oh, she only had one of the biggest songs from the 80’s called “Mickey”, that’s all.  Apparently he was so fine that he blew her mind.  But anyway, she’s in Slaughterhouse Rock and Devo has a killer soundtrack on it.  That’s full blown 80’s overload if you ask me and more than enough to make me hunt this down and watch it.  No DVD/Blu-ray version exists, but there is a full Youtube version up online if you’re like me and want to bust your virgin Slaughterhouse Rock cherry.

God Bless The Greatness That Is Called ‘Psycho Cop’

In 1988 when Maniac Cop was released, most horror fans thought they had seen the greatest killer cop movie of all time.  Yes, I’m embellishing that quite a bit, but just go with it for the time being.  And then 1989 came and with that also came the birth of Psycho Cop!  That’s right – Psycho Cop….the clear and obvious knockoff of Maniac Cop, but with more cheese.  I do love me some extra cheese.

If ever there was a movie that needed to be released on Blu-ray, it’s Psycho Cop.  Officer Joe Vickers (Robert R. Shafer) is not to be fucked with and it’s a monumental performance for the ages of horror cinema.  If you couldn’t already tell, I like to make things sound much bigger and better than they actually are.  Who are we kidding…..Psycho Cop is pretty terrible, but in the best way possible.  It’s pure ‘alcohol consumption necessary’ viewing and needs to make no apologies for that.  And I bet that you’ll be saying the joke “What has 18 legs and 2 tits?” at the next party you attend.

 

VHS Horror Movies I Wanted To Rent, But Never Did: Redneck Zombies (1987)

I grew up in a small farm town in Indiana.  For those of you who don’t know, Indiana is a Midwestern state with a lot of cornfields and rednecks.  Oh – and Larry Bird has a car dealership there somewhere too.  So naturally since I’m from an area that’s known to have redneck or two, a young boy who loved horror movies like me would obviously gravitate towards a movie called Redneck Zombies at my local video store, right?

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They’re Tobacco Chewin’, Gut Chompin’, Cannibal Kinfolk From Hell!”  With a tagline like that, how the hell did I never rent this?!?  Not only that, but this rare gift was given to us by none other than Troma Entertainment.  Now, I very much enjoyed The Toxic Avenger in 1984, so what made me pass up renting Redneck Zombies back when I was obsessed with renting horror movies?  I wish I had a simple answer my friends.  I guess I was too busy watching Chopping Mall for the tenth time.

I think it’s finally time though….finally time to raise above the skepticism that I hold and sit down and give Redneck Zombies the viewing it so deserves.  I’ll take baby steps first and watch this clip up on Youtube where the word ‘bodacious’ is used to the best of it’s word ability:

Horror Hijinx: ‘Sally’s Demon Transformation’ From ‘Demons 2’ (1986)

Who needs a college football championship game when you have the amazingly bad Demons 2?  Yes, last night I revisited the sequel to one of my all-time favorite horror movies ever, 1985’s Demons.  Oh sure, Demons is not Academy Award level cinema by any means – but it’s fun, gory as hell, and has a great soundtrack.  And it has Bobby Rhodes.  I hadn’t watched Demons 2 in a long time, so imagine my pleasant surprise that I was inspired enough the morning after to write this post.

Hilarious bad dubbing aside (as with most Italian horror movies), Demons 2 has an arsenal of ‘so bad it’s good’ moments.  And thankfully after watching this movie again, I now have an arsenal of content for my site in the near future.  It’s clear from the get-go, that Demons 2 is the red-headed stepchild of Demons.  And it’s ok with that, which makes it even better.  Oh I’ll talk about the dog transformation scene, the baby demon scene, and even the reemergence of actor Bobby Rhodes as a gym instructor at a later date – but today it’s all about Sally’s demon transformation scene:

Oh lord.  Now you know you can’t help but laugh when that prop head of Sally pops up.  This sequel pretty much tries to follow Demons beat for beat, as Sally’s transformation (especially the teeth part) mimics Carmen’s from the original almost to a tee.  The effects are definitely cheaper this time around, but it works because the movie itself is, well…..cheap.  God bless the 80’s though, because it was acceptable to be and look cheap back then, especially in horror movies.  Therein lies the charm, my friends.  And Demons 2 is full of it.  Charm that is.

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