Laughing at bad movies is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are very familiar with my Bad Movie page where I focus on various film flops that I feel deserve larger audiences because of how dementedly enjoyable they are. Since it’s the Halloween Season this list will present eleven of the most neglected bad horror movie classics, many of which deserve Plan 9- sized cult followings. These are short takes. For my full-length reviews of these and other cinematic turkeys see my Bad Movie page. https://glitternight.com/bad-movies/
MORE HALLOWEEN MOVIE TREATS: MEXICAN MONSTERS https://glitternight.com/2011/10/31/a-halloween-mexi-monster-bestiary/
BLAXPLOITATION HORROR: https://glitternight.com/2011/10/26/a-very-blaxploitation-halloween/
11. THE LIFT (1983) – A killer elevator is the unique menace in this joyously absurd horror film from the Netherlands. A heroic elevator repairman tries to stop the bloody reign of terror of a sentient elevator which the movie’s ads described as “the perfect killing machine”. (?) The flick was also advertised with the tag line “For God’s sake, take the stairs” which never fails to make me laugh.
10. ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES (1983) – The surviving passengers and crew of a sunken luxury liner find themselves on an uncharted island full of ponds and streams that dissolve human flesh. The island is home to the title creatures, who are obviously just dolls. There are no special effects in this flick, so the actors have to hold the dolls against their own bodies and pretend to be fighting with them in the bloody “attack” scenes.
9. FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER (1965) – Martians led by the sinister Dr Nadir (insert your own joke here) set up shop in Puerto Rico, where they begin kidnapping Earthlings to use as “breeding stock” to repopulate their own war- ravaged planet. The Martians and their Space Monster, Mull, are opposed by a NASA robot called Frank, whose name provided the lame excuse to pretend this was a Frankenstein movie.
8. CRIMINALLY INSANE (1974) – An overweight woman named Ethel goes on a killing spree in which she eliminates everyone who tries to come between her and her next meal. If you don’t like an eating disorder as a slasher movie theme, you can substitute Psychopath, about a kiddie show host on a killing spree, Hellroller, about a wheelchair- bound slasher, or The Confessional, about a mass-murdering priest.
7. SPIDER BABY (1968) – If you ever wondered what episodes of The Addams Family or The Munsters would have been like if the main characters actually killed people, this is the movie for you. Virginia, the title character, is a member of a family all suffering from the fictional mental illness Merryes Syndrome. When outsiders intrude on their isolated mansion home, the fun begins. That old songbird Lon Chaney, Jr sings the theme song.
6. THE MUMMY AND THE CURSE OF THE JACKALS (1969) – Anthony Eisley plays the world’s dumbest archaeologist as he willingly assumes the title curse and begins nocturnal transformations into a were- jackal. The plot thickens as he finds himself vying with the fattest mummy in human memory for the affections of an undead Egyptian princess under orders from the goddess Isis to revive the worship of the ancient deities … in Las Vegas.
5. THE NEWLYDEADS (1987) – The slasher craze of the 1980’s was getting very desperate for fresh ideas by the time this flick came along. A zombified transvestite slasher in a tattered wedding dress preys on the vacationing couples at a honeymoon hotel. You can’t count the number of gaffes and missteps in this hilariously bad movie, not the least of which is the fact that the bulk of the film takes place in the daytime.
4. HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 5 (1985) – You know the famous masks worn by Jason Voorhees and Mike Meyers? Well, Bartholomew, the slasher in this film, wears a Richard Nixon mask while slicing and dicing his victims. A mad scientist has made Bartholomew nigh- unkillable. Meanwhile, the worst scripting, acting and continuity in film history has made this one of my favorite Halloween bombs.
3. DEAFULA (1975) – Noble intentions went wrong in a big way with this attempt to tailor a horror film specifically for the hearing impaired. This black and white oddity about a deaf vampire features every character conveying their lines in sign language while voice- overs simultaneously provide the dialogue for the non- hearing impaired.
One example of this film’s laughable strangeness is the way our title character’s hair color and clothing magically change whenever he turns into his blood- sucking alter ego. People only THINK Ed Wood’s movies are as bad as this little honey, in which the WTF moments fly like shrapnel.
2. DEATH BED (1977) – A four- poster bed in a remote mansion has been given life by the bloody tears of a demon and proceeds to devour everyone who tries to sleep on it. In the same way that water- beds are full of water, the Death Bed is full of digestive juices that dissolve its human victims as well as a fly and a bucket o’ chicken (no, seriously). Literally dozens of people fall victim to the title monster, accompanied by pompous narration provided by a man trapped in the bedroom wall. (Don’t ask)
1. ASSIGNMENT: TERROR (1969) – Aliens led by Michael Rennie psychically inhabit the corpses of Earth scientists and set up a laboratory in a deserted castle. The aliens have hatched a plan to conquer the world by using a mummy, a vampire, an oddly- named Frankenstein Monster and Paul Naschy’s recurring werewolf character to scare us into submission. This has long been my all- time favorite bad horror film and is fun to laugh at with friends and loved ones.
If your taste in Halloween film fodder runs more to the traditional monster types in this flick you may also like the following underappreciated bad films:
Blood!, in which the son of the Wolfman and the daughter of Dracula have a cellar full of man-eating plants;
Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein, in which the title characters also clash with a poorly- rendered werewolf;
and Blood Of Dracula’s Castle, which features vampires, a hairless werewolf, a Frankenstein- style monster and a Satanic cult led by John Carradine.
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