Creepy Cinema: Cult Camp | Week One

I'm so excited to finally share my thoughts on this year's list of cult classics. The first week of Creepy Cinema was a nice mix of films and for the most part I enjoyed most of them. Although, it's possible that I saw the worst film I've ever seen. It was pretty awful. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my reviews and let me know what you think in the comments below!
1.   Nosferatu (1922)
This film is the oldest on this year’s list, and since I didn’t want to jump in head first, I dipped in slowly by watching this one first. Nosferatu is probably one of the most iconic horror films of all time. It has such a cult following that they even made a movie about the filming of Nosferatu, called Shadow of the Bat.  The film is such an obvious rip off of Dracula, but that’s what makes it great. The makers of Nosferatu couldn’t obtain the rights to make a movie adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, so they told their own version, which was just as good in its own right.

I actually wanted to watch this movie last year, but Markus wanted to save it for this year. The movie itself is pretty good, but it isn’t my favorite “Dracula” film or vampire movie. The cinematography is amazing and there are so many iconic shots. I absolutely love the look and feel, but it did lag a bit. I know it has a lot to do with the time period in which it was made, but it was still too slow for my taste. Also, I know the Dracula story really well, so there was no mystery to keep me going.

2.     The Toxic Avenger (1985) 
If there ever was a movie that I could un-see it would be The Toxic Avenger. I don’t even know what possessed me to allow this on the list. What kills me is that in earlier versions of this year’s list, this movie wasn’t even in the running. If I could turn back time…

I don’t think there is anything good about this movie. I wrote notes for all the other films, but I only wrote one sentence for this movie: “ This movie is so gross.” Markus was telling me that all the movies made by Troma Films (the creators of The Toxic Avenger) are like this. It’s just gratuitously disgusting. They basically take every extreme and nasty thing you could think of and intensify it. I will never ever watch another Troma Film movie again.

3.     Atom Age Vampire (1960)
Markus and I saw this movie on Hulu and decided to add it to the list. This was a huge mistake. There probably is a good reason why I’ve never heard of it. The basic premise is that a beautiful woman is scarred in an accident and a scientist cures her, but at a high cost.

The beginning started out really good. I liked the opening sequence and I thought it was the start of a hidden gem. I was definitely wrong. There are some good things about the film, but the woman’s overacting is just too much. She spent most of the movie crying, weeping and screaming. I mean, I get that women tend to be emotional, but this was too much. Also, what is it with men always choosing women that are all wrong for them? I don’t understand why the antagonist in this movie goes crazy for this woman. She doesn’t even feel an attraction to him. Her kindness to him is solely based on her gratitude for having her beauty returned to her.

4.     Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
This film has been heralded as the “worst movie of all time”, but I may have to disagree. I’ve definitely seen worse films. Plan 9 was created by Ed Wood, which also happens to be the subject of one of my favorite Tim Burton films. Since I know a little about Wood, I was excited to see this film. He’s known for making a slew of really low budget movies ranging from sci-fi to westerns.

I have to admit that this isn’t a well-done movie, it’s actually really bad. There isn’t any care to continuity and the sets look like they were made by middle-schoolers. Despite all of this, I really liked this movie. Since I knew it was the “worst movie of all time”, I expected it to be badly made, but I think the terrible acting, poor shots and juvenile sets are what made the movie worthwhile and enjoyable.

5.     Children of the Corn (1984)
This is one of those movies that you know about, but haven’t watched because it’s too creepy. I think that Stephen King is quite brilliant and always delivers, but I have a confession to make. Before Children of the Corn, I’ve never seen a Stephen King film or read any of his books. I know, it’s so strange. When I told Markus, I think he was really perplexed.

Children of the Corn was quite good and I enjoyed watching it.  It’s such a creepy movie, and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I didn’t know much about it and I honestly thought it was about kids who really liked corn. Or maybe they liked to terrorize people with corn. Or they were actually children made of corn. Either way, the movie will make me think twice before wandering into any fields of corn.

6.     Carrie (1976)
I watched this right after Children of the Corn. I guess after 29 years of a Stephen King-less life I had to catch up. Carrie is one of those movies that you know about without having to watch. That’s the thing about pop culture; you can “know everything” about a film without ever seeing it.

Watching Carrie was a lot like watching Psycho last year. I thought I knew the whole story and I would be bored, but it was the complete opposite. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, there was so much more that I didn’t know. Actually seeing the relationship with her mother explains a lot of what motivates Carrie. Every time her mother came on screen, I was instantly irritated. I probably would’ve gone crazy too if I were Carrie and had to deal with an overbearing mother like that.

7.     Pumpkinhead (1988)
Like many movies this year, I’ve never heard of Pumpkinhead. I try not to read anything about the movies before I watch them. It definitely adds more mystery and suspense. The main premise of this movie is revenge and the endless cycle of hate that it perpetuates. It’s set in a small backwater country town where a lot of weird voodoo and occult stuff is present.

Pumpkinhead wasn’t too scary and was easy to watch. It’s got all the fixings of a cult horror: a small budget, great practical effects, staple characters like an old crone, creepy hillbillies and a menacing humanoid creature. When the creature is finally revealed, I thought it looked a lot like the alien from Alien. The story is pretty good and it has it flaws, but like most 80s movie I don’t expect the script to be airtight. I was able to predict the outcome of the story way before it even happened. Nevertheless, it’s still enjoyable and definitely a hidden gem. I can see why this film has a cult following.