It’s that time of year again. No, not when I disappear for weeks without posting. But—actually, that too. Halloween is here! And like many of you, I use this as an opportunity to show my wife films she wouldn’t have any motive to watch otherwise.
I use Netflix streaming. And while I like their selection of documentaries, old scifi action flicks, and 70s drama, their horror selection is a “who’s who” of “who the fuck made this?” And most of the time, I find myself scrolling from screen to screen wondering how many of these films got one star. A star rating implies that somewhere in the universe, someone clicked on the title, found the premise intriguing, and proceeded to sit through 90+ minutes of serial killers, asylums, and asylums overrun by serial killers. In a way, I don’t blame the movie for sucking as much as I blame the individual who lacks a basic understanding of Marketing 101 to know that if the poster looks like a flyer for the local metal band, chances are this film isn’t going to be setting the bar very high.
I’ve compiled my list of the ten that I simply can’t wrap my head around in terms of why anybody in their right fucking mind would watch them. In no particular order:
“Aspiring screenwriter Edgar Allen works as a janitor for room and board at the Welcome Apartments, a run-down building filled with freaky characters and bizarre plot twists that wriggle their way into Edgar’s horror movie script.”
A horror film about screenwriting. Interestingly enough, they chose to go with fiction. And to think, they could have asked any one of you how your day went.
2. THE MANITOU
“When Karen tries to have a tumor removed, she discovers it’s actually the deformed fetus of an ancient Native American shaman ready to be reincarnated.”
Well, we did take their land. And if that doesn’t sell you, check out the cover. Look to the upper left, then slowly drag your eyes down to the lower right. Your brain tells you that Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo will be sitting there. Incredibly, they’re not.
3. THE FALLING
““Three teenagers in Spain drive through a town where the space station Skylab crashed several years earlier, bringing with it alien organisms that transform their human hosts into flesh-eating monsters.”
Based on the the 1935 musical by Cole Porter.
4. AMONG US
“Budding filmmaker Billy D’Amato wants his low-budget horror movie to be as realistic as possible. That’s why he’s brought his crew deep into the woods to try and get footage of a Bigfoot-like creature.”
Oh, that’s why he brought the crew out into the woods? I thought it was because they were looking for something like, ya know, scary.
5. KILLER BASH
“For 30 years, the tormented spirit of Robert Hyde has sought revenge on the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”
Even the characters are finding it hard to keep their eyes open.
6. WICKED LAKE
“Four beautiful coeds retreat to a mountain lake for some weekend R&R, but their holiday is shattered when four creepy admirers show up at their cabin.”
The lake is wicked but the scenery is gorgeous this time of year.
7. GHOST FEVER
“This campy comedy features zombies, vampires, a dancing mummy and the most rockin’ haunted house ever.”
This one is so bad that Netflix doesn’t even offer it in a straight search. It redirects you to “Ghost” starring Patrick Swayze, who ironically is now actually a ghost. Needless to say, ComicSans over a photo of two old black guys isn’t going to give anyone the heebie jeebies, unless they’re running for President.
8. BLOOD HOOK
““Camp and carnage make for a perfect catch in this schlocker. When hordes of anglers besiege a normally serene lake to try their luck in an annual fishing competition, the underwater critters aren’t the only ones in danger of being gutted.”
Somewhere there’s a Jimmy Buffett album with a section missing from the liner notes.
“Proving that flesh-eating monsters don’t practice age discrimination…”
Remember that classic horror movie back in the 80s starring Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen about the two garbage men who… no? Well here’s a hint for budding horror writers. If your title makes me think of something from my childhood that was innocuous, loveable, and sometimes really annoying, it probably isn’t a good title for a horror film. And if it is based on something from my childhood, don’t call it “Rubix Cube”. Call it “Cube”. Same exact thing. Different interpretation.
10. THE CHAMPAGNE CLUB
““Four thrill-seeking intellectuals book a stay at a remote tropical villa, where they find the retreat stocked with exquisite food, the finest champagne, works of art and drugs…”
I think I saw these guys open for The Dandy Warhols back in ’99. They were that crappy band that dressed like hipsters that nobody really liked until everybody started dressing like hipsters, then they had that video on YouTube with the treadmills and became popular.