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Up the Academy (1980)

After the unprecedented success of National Lampoon’s Animal House, it seemed only natural that the nation’s other most influential comedy magazine of the period would get into the movie game as well. Unfortunately for the usual gang of idiots at Mad, the result wasn’t nearly as financially rewarding. In fact, the Mad men were so […]

KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

The defining moment of KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park comes when drummer Peter Criss (aka Cat Man) first speaks aloud and the familiar Saturday-morning cartoon voice of male Wonder Twin Zan (Michael Bell) comes out of his mouth. It’s then that you realize this made-for-TV film: 1) was produced by Hanna-Barbara, 2) stars […]

Night of the Lepus (1972)

Yes, they really made a horror movie in the 70s about giant man-eating bunny rabbits. And yes, they called it Night of the Lepus, which was just another blatant attempt by Hollywood to use a dead language (lepus means hare in Latin) to make something cute and lovable seem dangerous and scary. How could something […]

Red Sonja (1985)

There are many thoughts that leap to mind while returning to Red Sonja decades after you’ve last seen it, but the one I kept focusing on was, “Where the heck did Brigitte Nielsen’s breasts go?” Admittedly, I have a tendency to overfocus on this sort of thing and I should probably get some help and […]

Frogs (1972)

You can’t really blame Frogs’ producers for their blatant deception. I mean, there are frogs in Frogs, but they alone aren’t the only animals who turn against the various unlikable characters who inhabit the story. In reality, the film more accurately should have been called Traditionally Harmless Animals Which Suddenly Decide to Attack People Because […]

Bad Ronald (1974)

The first thing I noticed when I first watched the cult made-for-TV thriller Bad Ronald was that its catchy and evocative title isn’t entirely apt. While the titular character does a bunch of stuff that accurately can be described as the opposite of good, he is also — as portrayed by Scott Jacoby (Return to […]

Theatre of Blood (1973)

On its surface, it may be easy to confuse Theatre of Blood for just another early ’70s British horror movie; a natural follow-up to star Vincent Price’s pair of Dr. Phibes films, in which an aggrieved maniac wreaks revenge on a group of people in a very specific and entertaining manner. But then as you […]

Second Time Lucky (1984)

Director Michael Anderson’s career had come a long way since he was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for 1956’s Around the World in Eighty Days; unfortunately, it was mostly in the wrong direction. The ’70s hadn’t been kind to him. Logan’s Run had been a hit, but it had been preceded and followed by […]

The Redeemer: Son of Satan (1978)

It seems appropriate that what ultimately saves this obscure late-’70s proto-slasher is a memorably theatrical performance by T.G. Finkbinder as the title character. That’s right: The Redeemer redeems The Redeemer, but it’s a close call, because one-time director Constantine S. Gochis commits more than his fair share of cinematic sin before the end credits roll. […]

Primal Rage (1988)

Primal Rage is a rare example of a horror movie that manages to create some degree of tension due entirely to a pre-production fuck-up. When the filmmakers decided not to cast the highly appealing soap star Sarah Buxton as their female lead, but instead as the female lead’s doomed roommate, they made it impossible for […]

4 Movies I Saw in a Theater in 1996 and Only Barely Remember

1. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood — Exhibit #32 in “Reasons Why I Had No Friends When I Was 21”: “Hey, Dennis Miller is starring in a movie! I totally got to see that!” 2. 2 Days in the Valley — For some strange reason, I only remember this featuring an attractive […]

Viva Knievel! (1977)

At the beginning of Viva Knievel!, the world’s most famous daredevil (Evel Knievel, playing himself) breaks into an orphanage in order to deliver a boxful of toys. While he’s there, an adorable crippled moppet abandons his crutches and explains that Evel’s heroism served as the inspiration to get him to walk again. It’s a moment […]

Werewolf Woman (1976)

Throughout most of its 99 minutes, the Italian-made Werewolf Woman is rhapsodically, wonderfully terrible in that way only a sleazy exploitation movie made by pretentious foreigners can be. While some unfortunate stretches of eyeball-glazing, poorly dubbed exposition exist, the sheer insanity of the rest of the picture more than makes up for them. Busty French […]

Just Before Dawn (1981)

Unless you’re a real horror movie geek, I think it’s probably a safe bet for me to describe Jeff Lieberman’s Just Before Dawn as the best slasher movie you’ve never seen. Why it remains so obscure is something of a mystery, since the people who have seen it tend to get very excited when talking […]

Warlock: The Armageddon (1993)

Watching this sequel to 1991’s Warlock, I started to wonder if maybe a young Michael Bay had seen it before debuting with 1995’s Bad Boys. The third film by second-generation director Anthony Hickox (Waxwork), this second entry in the Warlock mythos not only shares part of a title with one of Bay’s films, but displays […]