Tag Archives: horror films

CURSE OF LA LLORONA: MOVIE REVIEW

masc graveyard newBalladeer’s Blog’s coverage of earlier film versions of The Curse of La Llorona (“The Crying Woman“) has always been popular with readers. Here’s my 2011 review of The Curse of the Crying Woman. And for more of my reviews of neglected Mexican horror films which may themselves be getting big-budget remakes if La Llorona is a hit, click HERE 

Curse of the Crying WomanCURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN ( 1961 ) – The crying or weeping woman, called La Llorona in her native Mexico, is the undeniable queen of Mexi- Monsters. This ghoulish menace has appeared in many, many films before and after this one, but this 1961 version was the one that added witchcraft to her powers and spawned the “Llorona- mania” that shows no signs of abating.

The most recent Mexican horror film about her in 2007 used the tag line “The legend of La Llorona never dies”.

Since I’m a mythology geek I’ll point out that variations of the story of La Llorona can be traced all the way back to Aztec times, but the Christianized version of her story goes like this: Continue reading

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SLAUGHTER HIGH/ APRIL FOOL’S DAY (1986)

For April Fool’s Day here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m giving a rest to my usual holiday offering, my review of Aleister Crowley’s Clouds Without Water, to review a movie instead.

Slaughter HighSLAUGHTER HIGH/ APRIL FOOL’S DAY (1986) – This is the low-budget horror film made in England and set on April Fool’s Day. There are still VHS tapes and YouTube videos that show the original title, but the title was changed to Slaughter High because of the year’s OTHER April Fool’s Day slasher film with a gimmick ending.

Slaughter High starts off showing us April Fool’s Day of 1976, when a group of “teenagers” including 30-something Caroline Munro go to bizarre lengths to degrade and victimize their nerdy classmate Marty. These “kids” aren’t so much bullies as they are psychopaths, actually.

Slaughter High bAfter an April Fool’s Day “prank” involving nudity, electric shocks and near drowning, Marty is still alive through no fault of his classmates. The supposed popular kids get punished for their criminal assault on Marty, and perversely blame him for it! It’s that kind of movie. Hell, Marty’s tormentors were caught in the act, it’s not even like he peached on them (since this was made in England I couldn’t resist writing “peached on them”).

The psychotic teens-in-their -thirties decide Marty deserves some payback for the way they got in trouble for nearly killing him earlier, so they stage a new “prank” involving tampered-with marijuana, dangerous chemicals … and acid. C’mon, you kidders! Stop giving Marty the business! Just cut off one of his limbs or something and call it a day, ya jokesters! Continue reading

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MARDI GRAS MASSACRE (1978)

After this seasonal post had last year off it’s the return of my review of Mardi Gras Massacre.

Mardi Gras MassacreMARDI GRAS MASSACRE (1978) – Category: A neglected Bad Movie classic, but its hard-core gore will prevent it from ever having a Plan 9-sized cult following

It takes a twisted sort of genius to make multiple disembowelment murders look boring, but that’s exactly what Jack Weis accomplishes in Mardi Gras Massacre! Today may be Fat Tuesday, but let’s rechristen it “Splat Tuesday” in honor of this late 70s splatterfest. 

The actual “massacre” part of this movie is an incredible disappointment. An insane, hate-filled man with a knife – no, not Jim Bowie (rimshot) – is roaming around New Orleans during Mardi Gras targeting prostitutes as sacrificial offerings to the Aztec deities he worships.

That sounds promising for a horror film but the disembowelment ritual is reenacted word for word and movement for movement for EACH VICTIM! There is no variation and also no suspense because after the first killing we know exactly how all the subsequent sacrifices will play out. The only chills come from listening to the awful disco music that plays during the ceremonial slayings. (“NOOOOOOOOOO!”) Continue reading

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HEMISPHERE HORRORS: FILIPINO HORROR FILM BOX SET

-“They Came From the Philippines” you could say. ORDER BELOW. It’s a Five-Movie “Hemisphere Box of Horrors” featuring:

Blood DrinkersTHE BLOOD DRINKERS (1964) Also released as The Vampire People and Kulay Dugo Ang Gabi, this was the very first COLOR horror film made in the Philippines.  

Special Features for The Blood Drinkers:

  • Manong of the Philippines: Interview With Script Supervisor and Gerry De Leon’s AD Dik Trofeo
  • Hemisphere Appreciation by Filmmaker David Decoteau
  • Audio Commentary With Film Historians Nathaniel Thompson and Howard S. Berger
  • Partial Audio Commentary With Hemisphere Marketing Consultant Samuel M. Sherman
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Blood Drinkers Trailer
  • Vampire People Trailer
  • Radio Spot Continue reading

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CRYPT TV: AN INTERESTING ONLINE HORROR CHANNEL

masc graveyard newCrypt TV is a YT channel featuring original horror film shorts with a variety of deadly monsters. Many of the monsters are featured in ongoing stories that are like ARG’s but with much better special effects. This particular video features the first appearance of a violent creature whose ongoing appearances hint at plenty of unsavory, sinister secrets as well as serial killings in a small town. It’s titled The Wedding Hand, as a play on a Wedding Band. NOT FOR THE EASILY FRIGHTENED!  Continue reading

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NEW YEAR’S EVE BAD MOVIE: TERROR TRAIN (1980) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Terror TrainBefore MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s. 

EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday December 27th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

EXTRAS: Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, as machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class and members of the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) had two and a half hours to work with each week. Interviews with figures like Vincent Price, Forry Ackerman and others were featured and the movies being shown and mocked were often preceded by episodes of old Republic serials like Radar Men from the Moon and others. This episode featured Randy and Richard’s interview with Ben Johnson, whom they had interviewed at his ranch earlier in the year. Johnson also appeared in the episode’s film, Terror Train.

Mysterious Doctor SatanSERIAL: For this episode the movie was preceded by a chapter of Mysterious Doctor Satan in which a mad scientist called Dr Satan commanded a goofy robot and was opposed by a pulp-style hero called Copperhead.   

HOST SEGMENTS: The most memorable Host Segment  Randy and Richard did during this New Year’s-themed horror film was a bit where, as Midnight Dallas Time approached, they staged a countdown and then a raucous celebration of the arrival of … December 28th, 1986. Ken “Tex” Miller, Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley and other Film Vault Corps members joined in the festivities in a great example of the wry humor of this pre-MST3K program.  

1a randy and richard

Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault

TERROR TRAIN (1980) – A New Year’s Eve slasher film set on a train carrying a load of partying passengers who plan to ring in the New Year in each time zone of the United States. As required by law at the time, Jamie Lee Curtis starred since it was a slasher flick with a seasonal theme. (Look under the Federal HalloweenHalloween II and Prom Night Act of 1980 if you don’t believe me)

A few years earlier Curtis and her college buddies played an initiation trick on a freshman by tricking him into bed with a female corpse. The guy had a nervous breakdown from the ugly near-necrophiliac experience (like sleeping with Barbra Streisand must feel) and is supposedly still in a mental hospital because of it. Continue reading

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A DAY OF JUDGMENT (1981): MOVIE REVIEW

Halloween Month continues! Independent filmmaker Earl Owensby churned out a long list of movies over the years, including this horror flick. For more Earl Owensby horror films click HERE

A Day of Judgment 1

Owensby’s macabre Grim Reaper/ Fool Killer style monster from A Day of Judgment.

A DAY OF JUDGMENT (1981) – This movie plays as if Owensby collaborated with Reverend Estus W Pirkle like Ron Ormond did for the religious zealot/ Cold War potboiler If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? 

You can strip away that movie’s Cold War angle, though, since A Day of Judgment is set in the 1920s American south. Well, 1920s-ISH we’ll say since the usual fun Owensby anachronisms turn up repeatedly in assorted scenes.  

Reverend Cage addresses a church that is virtually empty and bores the few faithful who remain by bitching and moaning about how poor attendance has been. He’s leaving town and is basically washing his hands of the place, warning that the increasingly sinful town will get what’s coming to it. 

A Day of Judgment 3Next we have a series of scenes featuring some of the more sinful citizens of the deep southern town. Adultery, bigotry, covetousness, greed and outright murderous passions lurk behind every corner of this Mayberry-turned-Sodom and Gomorrah. These scenes go on so long even Larry Buchanan would scream “Pick up the pace, dammit!” at the screen.

A sinister, monstrously ugly man in black arrives in town, driving a horse-drawn carriage and sporting a long scythe. This figure is the film’s Grim Reaper/ Angel of Death/ Foolkiller- type menace. Continue reading

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