The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Score: 5/10

Length: 91

Language: English

Categories: zombie, 80s, horror comedy

Chemical rain, yellow man, slimy zombies, yelling, naked red head. This about sums up the movie. Pretty fantastic effects for the mid 80’s, and I liked the skeletal look of the zombies. The story behind the creation of the living dead wasn’t bad either. However, by the end, I just wanted them to get to the solution already, and then when it happened with the flashbacks, my eye rolling was unstoppable. It is written over and over that this is supposed to be a horror- comedy, but it seemed like a regular old eighties movie to me with no laugh-out-loud lines.

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Among Friends (2012)

Score: 4/10

Length: 80

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, gore porn

This one starts off strong with a group of C list actors who play young adults who are on their way to an eighties-themed murder mystery. It’s really hard to care about people when their acting and character stories are so bad, so it was a fun play-along killing spree sprinkled with karma.One of those you did bad things so now you’re going to pay sort of movies. I’m glad it ended when it did as I was over the torture gore and at the point of feeling like I needed a shower. Reminded me a lot of The Loved Ones, and I’m giving this the same score, although in comparison, I enjoyed the story of The Loved Ones a lot more (which says a lot considering I host a lot of murder mysteries myself and do not appreciate shitty friends). “Did you make fudgy panties?” “Fuck off.” “Everyone else ready for a cocktail?”

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Lake Mungo (2008)

Score: 5/10

Length: 87

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, ghost, mockumentary , almost horror

This Australian ghost film is expertly shot in Lake Mungo (real location, unnecessary location title), focussing on a family who has lost their daughter and while still grieving, begin to see her appear in photos and videos. The film plays out like a book (slow and steady pacing with all the drawn-out plot details) and I’m surprised to learn it was never a paperback. It keeps you on edge but is never actually scary, and although there are frequent mysteries unveiled and lots of spooky blurry ghost photos, it just left me feeling sleepy.

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Three Extremes (2004)

Score: 6/10

Length: 118

Language: Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese

Other titles: Three… Extremes, Saam Gaang Yi

Categories: foreign, Asian, 2000s, cannibal, vampire, murderer, recommended

In celebration of Chinese New Year, I’m watching this title featuring three shorter films:

(Paired with ginger beef and hot and sour soup!)

Dumplings 7/10

A woman eats fetuses supplied by a witch doctor (Bai Ling) to look young and beautiful. Disturbing yet delicious.

Cut  5/10

A disgruntled movie extra tortures a director and his wife in a strange and glamorous way, but the film confuses us at the end.

Box 5/10

Takashi Miike’s film about twin contortionists at a circus takes us on a delicate and sad journey but leaves us with an unintentionally comedic imagine.

I am a huge fan of films comprised of several films and I enjoyed all of these fairly equally. They were each very unique but also very interesting and well-timed drama-horrors. I am excited to see the full-length feature version of Dumplings.

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Dolls (1987)

Score: 7/10

Length: 77

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, girly, recommended

Asshole parents and their uncared-for kid get stuck in a storm and end up in a creepy old house run by some creepy old people who like dolls. Super eighties-outfitted teen robbers and a man the little girl makes quick friends with also show up at this mansion in the woods since there’s a storm. Only those who appreciate toys will survive! So I liked this one. The acting was bad but without trying to be good, and I love that the dolls came alive in a stop-motion kind of way. It had a story, interesting characters and didn’t go on longer than it needed to but still stopped to add nice little touches along the way. The bludgeoning deaths were non-sensical and it’s not scary unless you’ve got a real thing about dolls. A great mix between a kid’s movie and a horror. “I have to ask you a question! Do you trust kids?”

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The Brood (1979)

Score: 5/10

Length: 90

Language: English

Categories: 70s, psychological, murderer

So I started watching this while playing Diner Deluxe on my new phone and had to rewind it as I was shocked to see some solid acting (I thought this was supposed to be another lame 70’s horror cheesefest?) At least it sounded that way- a man tries to save his daughter from his crazy wife and her biological minions… Then about half way through, the Goosebumps lawn gnomes aka the deformed children appear, and you know it’s all over from there. With that being said, I really respected this movie for it’s imaginative and disturbing storyline- I’ve never seen anything quite like this. If remade and tweaked a little, this could be a really interesting movie. The psychology, the intricate characters and the even-pacing make this movie watchable, though it’s silly in the delivery of the death scenes by the giant Cabbage Patch kids that were left out in the sun too long.

Warning: if you can’t look at gross skin and body things such as medical books, don’t watch the second half.

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