02 October 2014

October 2nd

Delirium (2007) directed by Mark Allen
These past few Halloweens, I've been missing my yearly dose of modern, horrible horror. I used to have eight Horrorfest films to wade through every Halloween, suffering through at least six truly terrible horror movies throughout the Six Weeks. The masochist in me needs more of that. My solution? For a mere $5 at K-Mart, I grabbed one of those awful Echo Bridge multi-movie packs. This one was called the Highway to Hell Collection. I thought it would fit in with my Texas Chain Saw Massacre marathon this year.  And, who knows, maybe there's a gem in there?

This morning, I popped in disc one and played the first selection on it without knowing a lick about what I was going to see. That's the way to do it, in my opinion. Go in blind and be surprised. Surprised I was. I think -- and I've see a lot, a lot of bad movies -- this is the worst movie I've ever seen on a professionally pressed DVD. Sure, you see a lot of this kind of stuff on DVD-Rs -- usually passed out for free at cons by budding filmmakers -- but for a real company to have purchased this film, and made a DVD master, and sent the thing to a for-real DVD replication plant in order to make thousands of copies of it... wow.

To be truthful, the style of the film painfully reminds me of me. It looks a lot like the crappy horror shorts I was making about a decade ago. Bad acting, ultra-cheap special F/X, dumb script, dull editing, a friend playing bass as the soundtrack... yep, amateur hour all the way. I've been there. What impresses me is that they got this thing out there. Mark Allen must be incredibly persistent to have sold the rights to this movie when it should be relegated to free showings at small horror conventions with the other terrible homemade horror films. Could I have gotten one of my things onto a DVD that any old person could buy at the K-Mart? I doubt it. Bravo, Mark Allen!

It does exist, I swear.

Tales from the Darkside 2.01: "The Impressionist" (1985) directed by Armand Mastroianni
The NSA recruits a comedian skilled in doing impressions to communicate with an alien they've captured. A harmless episode in the vein of E.T. -- or maybe Close Encounters -- but that alien was pretty freaky looking.

Tales from the Darkside 2.02: "Lifebomb" (1985) directed by Frank De Palma
A businessman signs up for a lifebomb device, which is surgically implanted in his back. When it detects life-threatening danger, it explodes and wraps the person in a cocoon of healing to ensure they avoid death. A sloppy episode that downplays its downer ending so much it's easy to not notice it.

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