Since my uncle gave me my first secondhand copy of Fortean Times back in about 1986 I’ve been hooked on the paranormal and the earth’s mysteries, everything from spontaneous human combustion, ghosts and possession, to UFO’s, rolling rocks and Bigfoot. I’m not saying I believe everything I read about these subjects but I enjoy a great skeptical tour of those unusual things which are often talked about around the campfire.
It seems that some monsters and paranormal entities are easily adapted to the big screen, I couldn’t fathom how many ghost or vampire movies have been created to date but the number of Bigfoot movies are probably outnumbered by the sightings.
Each yeah more explorers and adventurers seem to find more shaky cam blurry footage of the elusive creature, more books are written, more strange stories catch small press headlines. The latest was only yesterday (literally why I am writing this today, lord knows when I’ll post it. but on the 25 January 2020, in Washington, traffic cameras supposedly caught a hairy hominid and you can see the evidence on Twitter (https://twitter.com/WSDOT_East/status/1220090003805442048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fkatu.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fwsdot-camera-captures-images-of-figure-that-might-be-sasquatch) Continue reading The AOFA Short Introduction and History of Bigfoot and B Movies.
Director: J.D Dillard
Starring: Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan Lawrene, Benedict Samuel, Andrew Crawford .USA. 1h 22m
I love the quote that goes something like, “you have to lose yourself to find yourself” and while it’s not the associated quote of this gripping horror, it seems to apply to the lead, Jenn a girl who doesn’t show much fear in her unusual castaway situation, but one who grows with the movie into something much stronger in this somewhat subtle new take to being stranded on an pewny island.
At first glance and in the opening, there’s not a huge amount going on in J D Dillards stomach churning thriller, but in reflection there’s a lot of social criticism a brilliant new monster and new heroine that with her faults is brilliant, brave and with some work could easily be the new Vasquez (Aliens). Dillard manages to make a lot happen on a really tiny island and with a minimal cast, but there isn’t a dull moment and he keeps a steady methodical pace. Continue reading Sweetheart (2019)
AKA: Demons III
Director: Lumberto Bava
Starring: Virginia Bryant, Sabrina Ferilli, Paolo Malco, Patrizio Vinci. Italy. 1h 34m
So many classic horror novels are produced from the bizarre dream of the writer, Frankenstein was a fever dream so powerful that Mary Shelly had to get the essence down on paper in a male dominated world, going against the grain she knew that her unique mix of man playing god and the promise of some dark everlasting life was literary gold. Other writers have often marveled how they bring their nightmares and dreams to live in their writing and films, which is the premise of this scrawny horror. Made for TV in the mid 80’s there’s a lot of 70’s backlash in this Bava effort, which made up a trilogy of direct to video/tv film series.
Continue reading The Ogre (1987)
Director: Brian T Jaynes
Starring: Larry Jack Dotson, Audrey Ellis Fox, Holt Boggs, Billy Blair .USA. 1h 15m
In the seemingly inexhaustible Bigfoot Indie Movie sub-genre, Bigfoot Wars has a many thriving backstories (originating from Eric S Brown’s book series) but doesn’t appear to do anything outstanding with the subject matters. It tries to offer a crazy alternative idea to most bigfoot mythologies that points; not only to the existence of Bigfoot but that there is a community living on the outskirts of a small town, that once threatened, will turn on the local human population until the one or the other is extinct.
Holt Boggs stars as Sheriff Jim Taylor, a dutiful officer loving father who struggles to find his feet when the carpet is swept out from underneath him when a spate of violent animalistic murders shakes his sleepy little town, Boggy Creek. The movie opens with the violent (offscreen) murder of the mayor, then some teens are slaughtered by a unknown beast while “partying” and camping in the woods, but the locals aren’t all that shocked, as a local news reports reveals that a majority of town folk believe that Bigfoot and aliens are all real and out there waiting to be discovered. Continue reading Bigfoot Wars (2014)
Director: Don Dohler
Starring: Don Leifert, Tom Griffith, Richard Dysz, Mary Mertens, Richard Geiwitz. USA. 1h 30m
Make no mistake there’s a deeper meaning behind this 16mm Quality Color movie, on the surface Dolher’s homemade sci fi adventure is simply about a small handful of rogue aliens that have landed on earth and intend on making some mischief, but by the end of this wintry escapade we’re left questioning who the real monsters are.
In a sleepy Baltimore down during mid winter, the biggest crisis was who was going to be nominated as the new mayor, but after a suspected meteor lands out in the woods, there’s a spate of unusual deaths. Before the town can really comprehend who or what is killing anyone who wanders out into the wilderness, a brilliant scientist is soon lending a hand and aiding the officials in the right direction of a possible downed UFO. Continue reading Alien Factor (1978)
Director: Jeffrey Bloom.
Starring. John Saxon, Burt Young, David Huffan, Marianna Hill, Otis Young, Stegan Gierasch. USA. 1h m.
We all love spending time on the beach when the weather is good, until it begins to consume us! Which is the general gist of Jeffrey Blooms stand out low budget horror which aims to make us fear the sand as much as Jaws (1975) made us fear the waters.
For the short running time, Bloom wastes no time getting to the gory basics when the first innocent victim is taken within the opening scene, where a elderly dog walker is sucked into the sand screaming in agony, never to be seen again, it’s a desolate beginning, leaving the scene with a dog barking at the sand in desperate search of his owner..with this deadly foreplay the characters are slowly introduced, sadly the main cast aren’t that strong but the supporting actors really stand out mostly the legendary John Saxon who’s character, Captain Pearson, takes no bull shit and has a back up of Sergeant Royko, (Young) who plays a petty skeptical officer who is absolutely no help but does liven the movie up with his jive talking insults. Continue reading Blood Beach (1980)
Director: Stephen Sommers.
Starring. Treat Williams, Kevin J O’Connor, Wes Studi, Anthony Heald, Djimon Hounsou, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis, Derek O;Connor, Famke Jassen. USA. 1h 46m.
The 90’s was a great era for cool action flicks with questionable levels of bravado and badassness , everyone was hot with a weapon, spitting corny one liners, and pulling hot chicks is nothing but a hobby. This era was owned by a few huge names, Arnie, Stallone and Gibson to name a few but at the back end of the 90’s there was a few toys to play with, the addition of advanced computer enhanced effects really ignited something in a lot of directors who tried to break through old limitations and create groundbreaking horror sci fi action flicks just like this and despite there being a few holes in the plot and physical side to story, Stephen Sommers was certainly building his craft into something quite spectacular, only a year later he returns with The Mummy (1999) and a host of other big popcorn titles were to follow. Continue reading Deep Rising (1998)
Director: Andy Milligan
Starring: Allan Berendt, Hope Stansbury, Patricia Gaul, Michael Fischetti . USA. 1h 9m
This bloodfest has everything in it, monsters, romance, carnivorous plants, a host of deformed servants, affairs, crooked solicitors and a batshit crazy old woman, and all in just over an hour, Andy Milligan really knew how to make a thrilling movie on no budget but with a bucket of originality and a touch of lowbrow comedy.
A stuffy estate agent takes a doctor to view a new property, there he attempts to make his excuses about the state of the property and show the man around but before he can lay on the bullshit he’s given a hefty cheque and forced out the house with reasoning not to return, the second his foot is out the door screaming shrouded figure is rushed in the back door by two crippled servants and a crazy freakish woman. The ghoulish melting corpse they uncover is one of the more gross scenes in the movie and it’s legendary that it’s done so early in the production, it turns out this vile thing is really the beautiful wife of Doctor Orlovsky, a brilliant scientist who’s returned home to claim his family fortune to further fund his experiments.
Continue reading Blood (1973)
Director: Toby Wilkins:
Starring: Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner, Rachel Kerbs. USA. 1h 28m.
Seemingly inspired by The Thing (1982) on a heavy dose of meth, Splinter brings the horror a little closer to home, you don’t have to visit the arctic to encounter a viral creature, there could be one out back right now. Along with the threat of this insane and unforgiving monster we also have to deal with two very different couples one of them being a redneck version of Bonny and Clyde, yet surprisingly the two story lines do work.
The beginning of this is great, there is a petrol attendant attacked by what looks like a rabid animal in the toilets of a station. Then; after some creepy credits showing lots of dead and mutilated animals we’re introduced to a preppy couple who get carjacked by the redneck Bonny and Clyde,she’s missing her fix and he’s just trying to get to the border. When they stop for gas, everything changes, the characters, atmosphere and just everything. The addict goes to shoot up in the toilet and finds the attendant who’s begging for death as he’s being taken over by the virus the spiny creature has given him, she’s soon attacked and taken out and the jail bird and preppy kids are now locked in the service station trying to figure out what is attacking them and how to fight back. Continue reading Splinter (2008)
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Peter Weller, Jennifer Dale, Lawrence Dane,Kenneth Welsh, Louis Del Grande. USA. 1h 28m.
There is a strong committed performance here from Peter Weller as he stars in George Cosmatos cinematic interpretation of The Visitor by Chauncey G Parker III, but it can’t shake off how “un-horror” and this horror can be at times. Instead the literary sense behind the film stands out strong but there could have been a huge opportunity for some gory visually to back everything up.
Peter Weller plays, Bart Hughes, a banking executive that is constantly outsmarted by a peculiar rat. While finalising big business ventures he’s also modernising an impressive brownstone apartment he’s unaware of a furry visitor making his home within the constitution. Continue reading Of Unknown Origin (1983)