Creepy Cinema: Cult Camp | Week Three

This week, I watched one of my favorite movies. Even though I'm not a fan of horror movies, there is one film that holds a very special place in my heart. I like this film so much that it's definitley in my top 5 movies of all time. Also this week, I saw one of the worst made films, but wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I would probably watch it again! I thoroughly enjoyed this week and I'm a bit sad that we're past the halfway point. There are only ten more films left this year. I can't believe how fast time flies. Hopefully the final ten films will be just as good!

1. Mars Attacks! (1996)
If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of Tim Burton’s earlier work. Some of my favorite movies were written and/or directed by Burton. I hate to say that his recent work hasn’t been as good, but Mars Attacks is from the 90s when he was still making quality movies. I’ve never seen it before and I was excited to possibly watch a hidden gem. The film pays homage to the sci-fi and horror B-movies from the 50s. There is definitely a heavy Ed Wood influence throughout the film. Mars Attacks is an ensemble film of many famous actors. The film is about aliens that come to America and how their invasion affects people from many different walks of life.

I hate to say it, but this wasn’t a great movie. There were some good parts, but it wasn’t what I expected from a Burton film. I will say that for the time that it was made, the CGI was really good. Most of the actors were enjoyable to watch, but there were a lot of really awkward scenes. I watched Plan 9 from Outer Space, earlier this month and this film was meant to be a tribute to that. Personally, I think Plan 9 is much more enjoyable to watch. 

2. Hellraiser (1987)
This movie is the main reason why you don’t mess with joo-joo. Hellraiser has always been one of those movies that I purposefully avoided, and not something I would ever watch by choice. Even the cover of the VHS/DVD always freaked me out, but I guess Creepy Cinema is the perfect time to try new things? Right? Well Hellraiser is hard to describe, but it’s basically about a man that unlocks a mystical box which unleashes demons or other-wordly beings that torture people. Although, the demons are only part of the movie, while the crux of the film focuses on the main character preying on people for their flesh.

I have to admit that while I was watching this movie, I was pretty freaked out. It was intense and quite deranged; definitely something that gets under your skin. I wasn’t really a fan, and I don’t enjoy movies like this. In fact when it comes to demons and things like voodoo or torture, it’s just too much. There is just something about that kind of stuff that I don’t ever want to deal with or experience in any way shape or form. This movie was a bit too much for me, so I’ll pass. 

3.  The Equinox (1970)
This 70s flick is well known for being super long and campy. Dennis Muren, the creator and an award winning special effects artist, decided to create a horror film with his friends. This film actually has been noted for its similarities to Evil Dead, which I don’t 100% agree with.  Yes, there are many similarities. Both films involve young couples that go on an outing that ends in disaster. They both unknowingly unleash an evil force and experience the terrifying consequences. However I think that’s where the similarities end.

The Equinox is an interesting movie to say the least. It’s obvious why it’s a cult classic, but its not that great. The acting is flat and melodramatic. It comes across that Muren enabled the help of his friends and not professional or even budding actors. The villain, disguised as a park ranger, is such a creep and constantly makes this strange twisty-face throughout the movie. The film is really long and becomes quite taxing, and I lost interest about halfway through. I will say that the special effects are pretty cool, which was the only part of the movie that I truly enjoyed.

4.  Horror Express (1974)
This film is a moody cult classic that stars one of last year’s Creepy Cinemahotties, Peter Cushing as Dr. Wells.  The plot revolves around an English anthropologist, played by Christopher Lee, who has discovered a frozen monster in the wastes of Manchuria, which he believes, may be the Missing Link. He brings the creature back to Europe on a trans-Siberian train, but during the trip the monster thaws out and starts killing the passengers.

My initial thought was…SO MUCH FACIAL HAIR. But once I got over that, the story was quite interesting. The movie is a bit slow, but many of the films this year have been slow. I really enjoy both Cushing and Lee. I loved watching them last year in The Mummy. I was a bit surprised at the real culprit in Horror Express. I thought it was going to be something very simple, but it ended up being something completely different and that was a nice pleasant surprise. I was happy to finally watch something that wasn’t what I thought it would be. 

 5. Troll 2 (1990)
I think this movie is the epitome of a cult classic. It has all the qualities of what would be expected. The film is called Troll 2, but not once do they say the word troll in the movie. The movie takes place in the fictional town of “Nilbog” where strange things start happening. Creepy goblin like creatures start turning humans into plants and eating them. This is the source of that famous clip, starring Darren Ewing, that went viral on YouTube a few years ago. “They’re eating her…and then they’re going to eat me…OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOD…”

Even though this is probably one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, it was so good. I really liked it. It’s so bad it’s good. I read a bit about the movie and learned that the director was Italian and didn’t speak a word of English. The entire crew also didn’t speak English. They cast inexperienced actors who had to read their script verbatim. The director wrote the film because many of his friends were becoming vegetarians and he wasn’t too keen on that. It’s pretty incredible and a movie that I suggest everyone sees at least once. 

6. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
This film is the George A Romero classic that kick-started the zombie genre for years to come. It’s an undead legacy that’s inspired generations of moviemakers, most notably Edgar Wright with Shaun of the Dead. The film focuses on one night and the “living dead” that terrorize a small group of people.

Since Markus is a huge fan of zombies, I’ve seen almost all of the zombie movies out there. It was pretty cool to finally see the film that started it all. Even though Night of the Living Dead is from the 60s, it still holds up. It was fun to watch and it was really interesting. I loved finally knowing where the famous line, “They’re coming to get you Barbara,” came from. Speaking of Barbara, she was incredibly annoying in this movie. She spends the entire movie in a catatonic state, and even manages to get punched in the face. This is definitely a must see.

7. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
I cannot express how much I love this movie. Even before Creepy Cinema, this was the one film that I’ve watched so much that I could quote it to you in its entirety. I really, really, really adore this movie. It has tons of gags and dialogue that tips its hat to great cult classics like Night of the Living Dead and Evil Dead. I love the comedic take on the zombie genre. The film is about a lazy loser who becomes a bit of a hero during a zombie apocalypse in London.

As I said before, I love this movie. I remember that the first time I saw I instantly fell in love. Edgar Wright makes such great films. They’re always witty, tightly edited and have great comedic timing…just fun to watch.  Somehow it manages to combine comedy, romance and horror. Even after watching it multiple times it never gets old. To me it’s as close to a perfect movie as you’re going to get.