Hard Rock Zombies (1985) directed by Krishna Shah
Finally! After a half a decade, I got someone to watch Hard Rock Zombies with me. J stopped over before heading to work to catch a bit of horror. I still say this is my proudest DVD buy ever. I spotted this disc at a regional store being sold for $1.00. Given the title and price, there was no way I was leaving without it. Color me surprised when I watched it and discovered it was also entertaining as hell.
Rock 'n' roll will never die. You can throw a conservative town counsel at rock 'n' roll and it won't die. You can throw zombie Hitler and his werewolf wife at rock 'n' roll and it won't die. You can throw cannibalistic, zombie, midget Nazis at rock 'n' roll and it will not die. You can kill the actual rock 'n' roll band and it still won't die. I think there's a lesson in this film for all of us. (7/10)
Cool Air (1999) directed by Bryan Moore
A very nice adaption of this Lovecraft short story. It's quite faithful to its source, down to the Latina landlady and ammonia refrigeration, with one exception: there's a love story inserted into the middle of it. Or, rather, Dr. Muñoz relates the tragic tale of his heroic wife who nursed cholera sufferers until she caught the disease herself and was burned to death by panicked police. It's a really kind of maudlin and very un-lovecraftian. Lovecraft never wrote about the love of men for women or, really, never wrote fondly of women at all. That kind of sentiment was as alien to his fiction as Cthulhu is to us. Yet, this insertion works in this film. I'd say this is due to Jack Donner's perfect performance as the doctor more than anything. Not only is his pain convincing, it gives a reason to care about him when he begins to melt at the end of the short.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) directed by James Signorelli
All good fun. I can certainly understand how Elvira would drive folks nuts. I think you either get a kick out her shtick -- a goth valley girl with massive cleavage and an attitude to match -- or find it too tiresome to bear. Plotwise, this is just an excuse for Elvira to ham it up for ninety minutes. It's a mishmash of a couple of common plots: the free spirit stirring up the conservative town matched with the evil relative who wants to steal the good relative's inheritance. But, really, we're just here to see Elvira give her dog a punk haircut, make lots of sexual innuendos and defeat the bad guy with cheezy, animated magic effects. I like it, but I'm not sure why. (7/10)