Tag Archives: movie reviews

HELLRAISER: THE FOUR BEST FILMS

Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog with my take on the top four (of ten) movies in the Hellraiser franchise.

HellraiserHELLRAISER (1987) – “Jee-zuz WEPT!” Clive Barker helped translate his novel The Hellbound Heart to the big screen in this film. It’s incredibly rare for a novelist to get to DIRECT a movie version of one of his own works but Barker made the most of it.

Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) has exhausted sexual sensation with women, men, corpses and animals. Seeking new stimulation he solves LeMerchand’s Puzzle Box, a “Rubik’s Cube From Hell” which leaves him at the mercy of the demonic inter-dimensional sadomasochists called the Cenobites of the Order of the Gash. 

Suffering unimaginable torments as the M in this S&M relationship, Frank struggles to escape the Cenobites for good, even if it means sacrificing his brother Larry plus Larry’s wife Julia (Clare Higgins) and daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence). Continue reading

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FRANKENSTEIN (1973) FROM DAN CURTIS

Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog and so does the 200th anniversary year of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. FOR THREE MORE REVIEWS OF DAN CURTIS HORROR PRODUCTIONS CLICK HERE 

Frankenstein 1FRANKENSTEIN (1973) – Dan Curtis was well-known for his Dark Shadows television series, the original Night Stalker telefilm and its sequel The Night Strangler. Throw in The Norliss Tapes, Trilogy of Terror and about a dozen more made-for-tv exercises in the macabre.  

In Frankenstein Robert Foxworth stars as Dr Frankenstein and Bo Svenson portrays his famous monster in what was originally a two-part presentation on The Wide World of Mystery. (“He’s an artificially created monster who solves murders!”)

Susan Strasberg played the good doctor’s love Elizabeth, Willie Aames was William Frankenstein and John Karlen from Dark Shadows appeared as Otto.

Leif Garrett, soon to appear as one of the murderous children in Devil Times Five, was briefly glimpsed as a little boy running from the Frankenstein Monster. Heidi Vaughn and Brian Avery were along for the ride as the DeLaceys.   Continue reading

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THE BODY SHOP (1973): MOVIE REVIEW

THE BODY SHOP (1973) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following

HALLOWEEN MONTH CONTINUES! The horror film titled The Body Shop is one of my all-time favorite bad movie gems. It includes all the little extras that separate mere bombs from the truly legendary turkeys and, like another neglected classic, The Wizard of Mars (see my Bad Movie page for the review), just keeps getting worse and worse and weirder and weirder all the way to the end. Continue reading

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BLACK PIT OF DOCTOR M (1958)

Halloween Month continues with this look at the Mexican horror gem The Black Pit of Dr M. For Balladeer’s Blog’s extensive look at over a dozen Mexi-Monster films click HERE 

Black Pit of Dr M

The Black Pit of Dr M

THE BLACK PIT OF DR M (1958) – The Dr M of  our title is Dr Masali, who runs an insane asylum in the very early 1900’s with his colleague, Dr Aldama. The two make a pact stating that whichever one of them dies first will contact the survivor from the other side with the secret of returning to life.

Aldama passes away and, true to his word, returns from the beyond and uses his long lost daughter to serve as the catalyst that sets Dr M on the road to returning to the flesh after death. He also includes a warning that our title doctor naturally ignores. 

Elmer Black Pit of Dr MHanged for a murder he didn’t commit, Dr M does indeed return to the flesh, but as Heavenly punishment for violating the Divine Order his soul is trapped in the body of his asylum’s hideously deformed and homicidally violent resident, Elmer.  Continue reading

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RECENT MOVIES: SOME MICRO-REVIEWS

masc graveyard newI have been getting a lot of readers asking me to review some of the more recent releases from major studios. Balladeer’s Blog regulars know that I tend to focus on incredibly obscure items or hilariously bad movies from decades ago.

Since a lot has already been written about the following several films I won’t bother with one of my in-depth looks. These will be more general takes on the movies.

Napoleon SoloSOLO: A STAR WARS STORY – Thankfully someone FINALLY addressed the elephant in the room of the Star Wars universe: the origin of Han Solo’s last name.

That’s right, in a cinematic setting which features multiple characters sporting the unusual surname Skywalker, Disney decided that the world needed a back-story for the last name “Solo.” Continue reading

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GHOSTWATCH (1992): FILM REVIEW

Ghostwatch 1992GHOSTWATCH (1992) – This was a British made for t.v. movie that aired on Halloween Night in 1992. Ghostwatch is a nice – albeit boring – little novelty item for the way it anticipated the paranormal “reality” (LMAO) shows of today.

The telefilm also can’t help but put viewers in mind of the Paranormal Activity series and countless other Found Footage horror movies. Ghostwatch involves much older technology of course but for once, since the make-believe t.v. crew is filming their investigation of a haunted house, it MAKES SENSE for people to be filming everything.  

The casting for this production was well-done in that it contains virtually NO recognizable faces. Usually when watching BBC items from back then viewers can’t help but play Spot the Doctor Who/ Sherlock Holmes/ British Murder Mysteries Actor. Continue reading

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HIGH SCHOOL CAESAR (1960) FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME

For back-to-school time here’s my review of the 1960 Juvenile Delinquent classic High School Caesar. 

high-school-caesarHIGH SCHOOL CAESAR (1960) Category: Bad, youth-oriented 1960 movie that is incredibly campy   This movie may have a 1960 release date but it is the most classically campy example of the Juvenile Delinquent movies of the 1950’s.

That genre spawned many “so bad they’re good” films like High School Hellcats, Untamed Youth and many others featuring fast cars, silly slang and misunderstood or just plain malevolent teenagers. High School Caesar renders itself even more laughable than other Juvenile Delinquent films with its wonderfully absurd premise.

Yes, this movie takes its cue from the Edward G Robinson gangster movie Little Caesar and depicts the phenomenon of juvenile delinquency as if it’s a High School ROTC version of organized crime.

The title character is a kind of leather-jacketed Don Corleone overseeing a high school operation involving hallway protection rackets, rigged student elections and a black market of stolen exam answers. Continue reading

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