HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are very familiar with my Bad Movie page where I examine plenty of under the radar movies that are hilariously awful. Last Halloween season I ran a list of the top Eleven Neglected Bad Movie Classics for Halloween. That tradition continues this year with a list of eleven more neglected bombs. As with last year’s list my Bad Movie page features full-length reviews of each of the movies I’m offering a synopsis of here.
THE RETURN OF DR X (1939) – The notorious film in which the legendary Humphrey Bogart played a zombified mad scientist named Dr Xavier who was brought back from the dead by another mad scientist named Dr Flegg. Much of the fun comes from Bogie’s unmistakable disdain for finding himself in the kind of stinker that Bela Lugosi often waded through. Bogie’s Dr X kills bunny rabbits, surgically drains blood from the hearts of living humans and experiments on babies in a movie desperately searching for a decent script and a likeable character.
DIAL HELP (1988) – Believe it or not Ruggiero Deodato directed this ridiculous horror film. A plucky heroine who has just been dumped by her boyfriend finds herself being haunted by … living phones. No I’m not kidding. These phones kill by strangling people with their cords, using high-pitched noises to shatter glass and sabotage pacemakers and, in the case of a very belligerent payphone, by shooting coins out of its coin return with such force they strike like bullets! All this and a haunted Lonely Hearts phone line in this oddity that must be seen to be believed.
HELLROLLER (1992) – A deranged slasher who is in a wheelchair proves “handi-capable” enough to roll his chair after his victims and carve them up. He also irons a woman to death in an unforgettable scene. The script, if “script” isn’t too strong a word for this mess, also treats us to a mad scientist who poisons the water supply with a chemical that turns wealthy people into skid row bums, thus providing even more victims for our wheelchair- bound killer. And did I mention the Siamese Twin rednecks?
DR JEKYLL’S DUNGEON OF DEATH (1979) – A descendant of the original Dr Jekyll has perfected his own version of the family serum. He injects this special recipe into human guinea pigs and then watches them have martial arts fights in his dungeon laboratory, where we viewers spend a SUFFOCATING amount of time in this laughable horror film. Dr Jekyll’s ultimate plan is to use these kung-fu Mr Hydes as super-soldiers to win the Vietnam War. And you thought the Phoenix Project was a crackpot scheme!
THE WEREWOLF OF WOODSTOCK (1972) – This film is set in the aftermath of the Woodstock Concert in 1969. A grumpy old man who hates hippies and rock music gets electrocuted while vandalizing some of the leftover musical equipment he finds on the stage. I don’t know why it’s there unless rock bands leave equipment behind them like the Apollo Project used to. Anyway, after getting electrocuted the elderly grouch begins transforming into a werewolf during thunder storms. It never makes sense in any way, shape or form but this Dick Clark Production is pure bad movie gold.
ROBO-ZOMBIES (1986) – Even for a Hong Kong horror film this baby is OUT THERE. A stable of prostitutes in the near future have become hooked on their boss’s newly configured designer drug. A side-effect of the drug is that it causes various limbs to decay and need amputated. The limb-losing hookers retaliate by having a mad scientist who is into amputee sex outfit them with cybernetic limbs (Guess how they pay him to get him to agree to the operations). Thus equipped the ladies get their bloody revenge on their boss and his entire gang in a Hong Kong cemetery and in a morgue from where drugs are smuggled out in the cavities of cadavers.
HOMEBODIES (1974) – The notorious “old fogies on a killing spree” movie. A group of people so old they look astonishingly like zombies are in danger of being evicted from their homes so that a new development can be built. The oldsters, who are a combination of senile and just plain crazy, retaliate by first killing off some of the construction workers to delay the project, then killing people higher up the chain when that proves ineffective. This is one weirdass movie.
ZUMA (1985) – In this enjoyably deranged and disjointed movie from the Philippines, an expedition uncovers the tomb of Zuma, the king of the monsters in Filipino horror films. Zuma is a humanoid who is big and green, is sometimes cross-eyed and has two actual pythons growing out of his neck. The two snakes feed on the hearts of Zuma’s female victims after the big green guy has his way with them. As Lenny Henry said under similar circumstances “this is an EXTREME form of contraception!” One of Zuma’s few surviving mates gives birth to a mutant daughter with snakes growing out of her neck and this daughter squares off with Papa Z in a monster fight finale.
THE BABY (1973) – God only knows what Ted Post was thinking when he made this ridiculous horror flick. The movie has an unbelievably absurd premise which is played completely straight as an actual horror movie. “Baby” is a full-grown man being kept in a state of arrested development by his kinky mother and sisters. They force him to wear a diaper, sleep in a crib, eat baby food and refrain from talking. Any violation of these rules and he is punished with a cattle prod. A female social worker becomes obsessed with freeing Baby from his insane family and proves even crazier and more violent than they are.
BLOOD FREAK (1972) – Okay, this is usually one of Balladeer’s Blog’s Thanksgiving Turkeys, along with the holiday horror film titled Slasher in the House, but it’s also appropriate for Halloween. A biker is torn between two sexy sisters – one a goody-two- shoes Bible thumper and the other a horny drug addict. Our hero, named Herschel, becomes a drug freak himself and in addition, at the turkey farm where he works two mad scientists have him eat a gobbler treated with experimental chemicals. The result is that the hapless biker turns into a human-sized monster with a papier-mache turkey head in place of his real one. In this mutated form Herschel hungers for blood and kills human prey to satisfy his appetite for it. Meanwhile a desk-bound, coughing narrator who is like a sermonizing Christian version of Criswell babbles on and on about the blatantly obvious anti-drug message of the movie.
THE BODY SHOP (1973) – Also released under the title Dr Gore, this is one of those bad movies that has all the little extras that separate the classics from the wannabe’s. A mad scientist named Dr Don Brandon has a hunchbacked assistant named Greg and lives in a Gothic castle in … rural North Carolina. Tragedy strikes one day when Dr Brandon loses his wife in a car accident. Determined to be with his bride again, the mad doctor and Greg the hunchback rob her grave in a hilarious day-for-night scene, but Doc Brandon fails to revive his true love’s corpse despite some absurd faux-puttering with mismatched equipment in his lab. Dr Brandon and Greg the cigar-smoking, butt-crack flaunting hunchback take to kidnapping nubile women so that the mad doctor can cut off the best parts of their respective anatomies in order to construct a perfect woman. There are too many gaffes and missteps to count in this bomb which also features a demented theme song plus a country-western tune titled A Heart Breaks Every Minute to go along with all the bloodshed and cinematic incompetence.
FOR MY ORIGINAL LIST OF THE TOP ELEVEN BAD MOVIES FOR HALLOWEEN: https://glitternight.com/2011/10/24/the-eleven-most-neglected-bad-movie-classics-for-halloween/
FOR MORE BAD MOVIE REVIEWS CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/bad-movies/
FOR SILENT HORROR SHORTS FROM 1896 – 1909 CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2012/10/19/the-best-silent-horror-film-shorts-1896-1909/
FOR MORE HALLOWEEN ITEMS CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/a-christmas-carol-2/halloween/
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